Mucosal surfaces are constantly exposed to the environment and therefore represent a front-line in protection against viral infection. Similarly, mucosal surfaces are key sites of viral shedding and transmission. The intestine is the largest mucosal surface and must balance its role in nutrient uptake with its role as an immunological barrier.
We study the biology of the intestinal innate immune cells and cytokines – how they promote intestinal health and resistance to infection. We use the mouse model of persistent norovirus infection and models of intestinal disease to understand how immune pathways function and how they become dysfunctional in disease states.