I received my PhD in Biotechnology from the Institute ofApplied Microbiology at the Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Austria. I workedin the University of Louisville School of Medicine as a post-doctoral researchassociate, and then faculty member in the Department of Medicine, Division ofGastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and the Department of Pharmacology& Toxicology as an Assistant Professor, and then Associate Professor andProfessor. I was also a member of Brown Cancer Center at the University ofLouisville School of Medicine. I am nowa Professor in the Department of Structural and Cellular Biology of TulaneUniversity School of Medicine.
I have a longstanding interest in studying the mechanismsof microbiome homeostasis, the gut-liver axis, and the application ofprobiotics in entero-hepatic diseases, including alcohol-associated liverdisease (ALD), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), cholestatic liverdisease, inflammatory bowel disease, and liver and colon cancer.
Currently, the laboratory's research concentrates onseveral areas. Firstly, we aim to understand the regulation of the intestinalmicrobiome by dietary and environmental factors and its impact onentero-hepatic diseases.
Specifically, they are investigating the regulation ofthe intestinal immune response, anti-microbial activity, gut barrier function,and bile acid homeostasis, by microRNA and several transcription factors,including hypoxia-inducible factor, farnesoid X receptor, and aryl hydrocarbonreceptor.
Secondly, my laboratory is studying bacterium-host cellinteractions by examining the role of bacterium- and host cell-derivedextracellular vesicles. In this regard, the laboratory is developingprobiotic-based products and strategies for the prevention and treatment ofliver diseases and exploring the potential of bacterium-derived extracellularvesicles as drug delivery approach for the treatment of colon cancer. Thelaboratory is also studying the mechanisms of fecal microbiome transplant (FMT)in the treatment of liver diseases.
My laboratory is interested in the treatment of liverdiseases targeting cannabinoid system. Currently the laboratory is examiningthe intestinal mechanisms of cannabidiol and peripheral cannabinoid receptorantagonist in liver fibrosis and potential liver cancer.
We collaborate closely with clinical groups to translateresearch findings from bench to bed for potential clinical applications ofprobiotic-based therapy. The research in my laboratory is funded by theNational Institutes of Health.