1. Summary of your research (300 words max)
Over the last 5 years we have made significant discoveries on how some pathogenic gut bacteria cause severe gastroenteritis and kidney failure in humans. We have used cutting edge methods to characterise a number of proteins that the bacteria inject into our gut cells during infection which effectively shut down our immune response and allow the bacteria survive and cause disease. Our studies have also enabled us to identify human immune responses that are essential for fighting gut infections, and provided insights into how some people are more susceptible to inflammatory diseases of the gut such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
2. Any additional details you would like the public to know
This work will potentially open up the field of research on immune disorders of the gut and provide more answers as to why some people develop Inflammatory Bowel Disease. We use the bacteria as a 'toolbox' essentially to unravel how the immune cells of the gut respond during infection, a process that is similar to what happens in the gut of a person with these immune disorders. We believe that we have the expertise and the resources to really progress the knowledge within this field of research.