Natalia Shulzhenko

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences

The Shulzenko lab is interested in understanding how cells of the immune system communicate with other host systems and the resident microorganisms (microbiota) in complex organisms in health and disease. This co-existence is beneficial for both sides but has to be tightly regulated in order to prevent disease development. In order to disclose the mechanisms of these physiological and associated pathological processes, the lab uses a systems approach and analyzes host and microbiota simultaneously. This is done through host transcriptome profiling and global microbiome analysis by next generation sequencing to identify the key regulators of the process. These findings are further validated by directed perturbations of host and microbiota using gnotobiotic mice, i.e. those colonized with defined microbiota. Lab’s recent work in chronic enteropathy of immunodeficient hosts (human and mouse) and in type 2 diabetes focuses on finding microbiota members that can be harmful or beneficial for these diseases.