Generating, Analyzing, and Understanding Sensory and Sequencing Information

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Host-microbial interactions and metabolism

Abstract: We are working establishing a system(s) to study Host-microbial interactions and metabolism. We developing develop novel, in vitro animal and human tissue systems that advance our understanding of infectious diseases and overcome longstanding obstacles that inhibit basic and translational research. In particular, we are taking advantage of new advances in “organ on chip” technology to study infectious pathogens of the intestinal tract. We are combining advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, with experimental data on the human microbiome to provide a powerful opportunity to utilize human tissue models to address complex, unresolved problems in infectious diseases research. Our experimental team takes advantage of partnerships among key experts in engineering, microbiology, infectious disease, immunology, neuroscience and basic biology. We present data showing feasibility and promise toward our objective of improving three-dimensional (3D) human tissue models for infectious diseases research. The implementation of our improved technological approaches will provide significant advantages over currently existing models by integrating more of the cellular and physiological diversity of the intestine in the same model.

Charles Henry, PhD, is Professor of Chemistry where he is the head of the department.  Dr. Henry’s training and current program of research are exemplary of the nature of “interdisciplinary” and “translational”. He has worked with scientists and clinicians in general medicine focused on health, including in development novel biosensor and assays for the diagnosis of disorders world-wide.  His group has been working on novel sensors for deployment with in vitro and ex vivo model systems for the last several years as a natural extension of his interest in the fundamental surface chemistry of microfluidic devices as well as the laboratory emphasis on electrochemical biosensorsFinally, Dr. Henry has played an active role in translational research working with both small spin-outs and large multinational corporations to translate basic science findings into useful commercial products.

Gregg Dean DVM, PhD, is Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology where he is the head of the department.  Dr. Dean has studied the immunopathogenesis and prevention of infectious disease for more than 20 years. His lab has expertise in performing in vivo studies and has utilized macaques, cats, and mice, as well as a wide variety of in vitro systems. During the last 10 years he has explored mucosal immunization using bacterial vaccine vectors. In the last 12 years, the mucosal immune system has been central to his investigations. He has developed novel techniques and models to study the effects of immunodeficiency viruses on the mucosal immune system and harness it through mucosal immunization using bacterial vaccine vectors.

Stuart Tobet, Ph.D., is a Professor of Biomedical Sciences at CSU and the Director of the School of Biomedical Engineering.  He is developmental neurobiologist with extensive training in neuroendocrinology, neurochemistry, immunochemistry, and neuroanatomy.  Since coming to CSU in 2003 he has developed additional expertise in other organs and particularly in creating functional ex vivo models for those systems; including pituitary, ovary, and most recently intestine. He is an internationally recognized expert in studying the biological basis for sex differences in brain structure and function, and the developmental mechanisms that drive brain sexual differentiation in model animals.  He has been collaborating with Dr. Henry for >10 years on NSF studies related to biosensor development for brain slices, and with Drs. Dean and Elizabeth Ryan for the last 3 years in the context of expanding work on immunology and microbiology in an intestinal model that could integrate microbiome and enteric nervous system function.