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Do you know someone who never seems to get sick?
The type of person who is perfectly healthy while everyone around them has come down with a terrible cold? Are they just lucky or is something else at play? Immune responses are complex but individual variation in immune genes may help to explain differences in disease susceptibility. In all animals, from insects to humans, the innate immune response is the cornerstone of host defense. Innate immune cells recognize and clear microbes, thereby limiting an infection and maintaining host health. Genetic defects in these cells can lead to severe immunodeficiency, which results in recurring and persistent infections.
We study genetic and genomic systems that allow us to better characterize innate immune responses. Because many of the genes and signaling pathways of innate immunity are conserved across all animals, our model systems allow us to make discoveries that have implications on human health, immunity and survival.
Our research group uses molecular biology, genetics, and microbiology to study the genetics of innate immunity.
The aims of the research are:
Research from the stream will provide valuable insight into the nature of innate immune responses and their evoluation over time.