The microbiota has a profound impact on the health status of its host, due in large part to its capacity to interact with and shape the immune system. We are currently running dietary intervention studies to modulate the microbiota and immune status in various cohorts. In doing so we hope to assess the degree with which we can use diet as a lever for microbial and immune health, better understand relationships between the microbiota and immune system, and establish analysis pipelines that integrate microbiome, immune, and clinincal data.
The Sonnenburg lab is fortunate to have access to donor samples from the Hadza hunter-gatherer population in Tanzania. Previous work in the lab has identified bacterial taxa and functionality in the Hadza microbiome that differs from Western samples, and aspects that cycle between seasons. I am looking into additional microbial content from Hadza samples, and examining its variation, co-occurence, and stability.
During my PhD, I used CyTOF as an immune monitoring tool for patient responses to surgery with clinician Dr. Brice Guadilliere. For use in immune monitoring studies such as these, I worked with Dr. Zach Bjornson and Dr. Matthew Spitzer to create a reference of immune profiling CyTOF data. This contains data from 5 species across a series of immune stimuli, and will be available shortly at immuneatlas.org. Stay tuned for the cross-species comparison, and my analysis of the human data!