The goal of our research is to identify the role of probiotics and other gut microbial factors in the regulation of immune-related disorders that affect the gastrointestinal tract. We have identified shifts in the balance of effector and regulatory T cells in several mouse models of human disease, including necrotizing enterocolitis, IPEX syndrome, and a model of multiple sclerosis. We have identified a receptor for probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri on intestinal epithelial cells (TLR2) and a novel mechanism for control of multisystem inflammation (via generation of adenosine interacting with the A2A receptor). A recent focus has been on microbial metabolites that are mechanistically linked to the anti-inflammatory effects of probiotic(s).
We also are actively involved in several human studies, several related to the microbiome, including an investigation of a combination probiotic for children with autism spectrum disorder with gastrointestinal symptoms.
6431 Fannin Street | MSB 3.140 lab | Houston, TX 77030