Our lab uses state-of-the-art technology and bioinformatic tools to get the most information out of the smallest samples.
We are systematically identifying age-dependent differences in the molecular events governing the development of the human immune system early in life. This work is done in cohorts across the globe, as response to e.g. infection or vaccination differs between populations as the result of differences in host genetics and/or variation in environmental exposures. For example, we are analyzing the impact of the microbiome on immune-mediated outcome in early life infection and vaccination as well as allergy and asthma. Identification of the relevant factors responsible for variation by age and/or global region permits precise determination of the specific strengths and weaknesses of the early life immune system.
Based on the knowledge gained from human cohort studies, we have developed mouse models of neonatal infection that allow us to test the functional roles in vivo, and to develop effective prophylactic or therapeutic strategies aimed to protect the newborn. For example, we are testing the protection from neonatal infection afforded by administering vaccines such as BCG or probiotics in early life.