I am interested in understanding the contribution of host-microbe interactions in development and disease, particularly those of epithelial origin. My doctoral work focused on the tight junction protein, Claudin-1, and its novel role regulating Notch signaling in epithelial differentiation and the consequence of its overexpression in Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Colorectal cancer (CRC). My studies primarily utilized transgenic mice with models of colitis and colorectal cancer and a wide range of techniques (immunohistochemistry, qPCR, western blot, 2D cell culture and 3D cell isolation and maintenance (intestinal organdies).
I joined Dr. Christian Jobin’s lab in 2014 to further expand on my knowledge of CRC development and progression by examining the contribution of the microbiome. My current research focus is investigating host-microbe interactions within the immature or dysbiotic gut, particularly that of the colibactin-producing bacteria species, and its effect on Colitis-associated Cancer. My techniques have expanded to the use of microbiology, gnotobiotic mouse conditions, zebrafish, microinjections (organoids), and Flow cytometry). My long term goal is to understand and define how the presence of the microbiome influences epithelial transformation and disease.