Research Overview

Our research focuses on the role of the microbiota (bacteria, fungi, and viruses that inhabit a niche) in chronic airway diseases including chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), asthma, and cystic fibrosis. Our main focus, CRS, severely impacts patient’s quality of life and costs up to 5% of total healthcare costs each year to manage. We’re using a multi-’omic approach paired with in vitro and in vivo models to understand how our microbes interact with each other and the host.

 

Ecology of the airway mucosal microbiome and immune response in health and disease

Our lab is specifically interested in mucosal host-microbiome interactions in airway diseases. We approach these questions using the following technologies:

Amplicon Sequencing (16S rRNA gene, ITS2 gene, and custom targets)

Shotgun Metagenomics

Metabolomics

Transcriptomics

Murine Models of infection and allergic inflammation


Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS)

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Airway Disease

Our lab investigates the effect of airway microbial communities in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). CRS affects approximately 1 in 7 adults in the US and is related to other conditions such as asthma, allergies, and cystic fibrosis. We use a multi-omics approach paired with hypothesis driven murine and in vitro models to understand the microbial and host immune responses in this complex disease.


Bacterial-Fungal Interaction in Health and Disease

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Microbial Interactions

Microbes living in a defined niche interact with each other directly, through attachment and co-aggregation, and indirectly, through secretion of compounds, modification of the environment, or by altering nutrient availability. These interactions may be central to host health status.


Airway microbiome dynamics

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Environmental Perturbations on the Airway Microbiome

How do major environmental perturbations alter the airway microbiome? In this collaborative study, we aim to determine whether environmental changes such as constant exposure to chlorinated water or dietary intervention alters the nasal microbiota composition and to potentially identify changes that lead to susceptibility to respiratory infection.

Sampling technique is described here.

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