Under normal circumstances, our intestines are colonized by hundreds of species of microbes, collectively termed the microbiota. Our intestines can also be colonized by macroscopic organisms, such as parasitic worms (helminths). The presence of particular microbes or macrobes within the intestinal tract can drastically alter the development and functioning of our immune system, which in turn can influence our susceptibility to infectious, inflammatory and allergic diseases.
Work in the Reynolds lab aims to dissect the pathways of intercommunication between the microbiota, helminths, and the mammalian immune system at mucosal surfaces such as the intestinal tract. They study how these three-way interactions can influence immune system development and function. They are particularly interested in understanding how these interactions can impact intestinal and extra-intestinal diseases, such as those caused by allergic inflammation or by pathogenic bacterial infection. Their ultimate goal is to identify molecules and mechanisms that can influence immune system functioning, which can then be targeted therapeutically to treat or prevent allergic, inflammatory, and infectious diseases.
For an up-to-date list of publications by Dr. Reynolds, please see Google Scholar.