The intestine is the site where the nutrients we intake get absorbed. The human intestine is home to ~100 trillion bacteria which promote digestion of foods and regulate metabolism. Although these bacteria provide us with important benefits, they can also cause many diseases such as infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases. This happens if the immune system fails to prevent the bacteria from invading our cells or when the immune system overreacts to intestinal bacteria.
In the Bang lab, we study how host immune cells, microbes, and nutrients interact in the intestine to maintain the beneficial host-microbe relationship. We use interdisciplinary approaches of biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics combined with various mouse models. Our goal is to understand the mechanisms regulating the host-microbe interactions and to find new roles of nutrients in regulating the interactions. Our mission is to find better ways to prevent and treat the diseases caused by the dysregulated host-microbe relationship.
Specific questions that we are currently studying to answer:
How does intestinal epithelium
regulate barrier function and maintain the mutually beneficial host-microbiota interaction?
How is the virulence of
enteric pathogens modulated by nutrients at the intestinal infection site?
How do lipid-soluble nutrients
shape microbiota and host immunity in the intestine?
How does lung microbiota
regulate lung health?