We are interested in studying the interactions between the commensal microbiota, pathogens and the host immune response in the one place they must necessarily meet – the mucosa. Studying host-pathogen interactions at the mucosa allows us to exploit the Red Queen Hypothesis (co-evolving organisms locked in competition) as a discovery tool to identify novel pathways and mechanisms by which we resist or tolerate infections. We have multiple projects aimed at studying the mechanisms by which pathogens activate and evade the mucosal immune response and how these interactions are modulated by the microbiota. Our goal is to generate and test new ideas for vaccine and drug candidates to better protect people against infectious disease.
Smita Gopinath's Faculty Website