University of Washington, 2010, PhD (Immunology)
University of California, Santa Barbara, 2004, B.S. (Cell & Developmental Biology)
Following birth, a complex community of microbes colonizes the mammalian intestinal tract. A long-standing and important question is how does the neonatal immune system avoid harmful inflammatory responses to these microbes. We’ve shown that maternal antibodies transmitted from mother to offspring ‘instructs’ mucosal immune responses in neonates. My lab is expanding on these findings and working to identify novel pathways through which maternal-fetal interactions regulate neonatal health.
My lab studies how maternal-derived factors regulate neonatal immunity. By definition, mammals are nursed by their mothers following birth. In addition to providing sustenance, milk contains an array of other factors that can help forge peaceful relationships between the immune system and the resident intestinal microbiota. We’ve shown that breast-milk derived maternal antibodies limit mucosal immune responses and are critical for neonatal health. We are pursuing these findings with the following projects: