We investigate mechanisms that underlie inflammation at mucosal surfaces. We have a special interest in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and its related conditions, e.g. primary sclerosing cholangitis.
By interrogating the role of the intestinal epithelium we study the most ancient part of innate immunity, as it forms the interface between the body’s most abundant, diverse, and potentially hostile microbial habitat and the sterile host environment.
Our studies aim to understand how specific aspects of the genetic underpinning of inflammatory bowel disease mechanistically connect to disease manifestation, and how microbial and environmental factors might contribute to and modify this process. One particular interest is in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response within the mucosal epithelium, and how unresolved ER stress, either imposed by genetic risk factors of IBD or by environmental factors, can lead to intestinal inflammation.
An important part of our agenda is also to contribute to translating novel mechanistic insight into therapeutic opportunities for our patients. This involves clinical therapeutic trials and immunological studies attached to them.