Animals are intimately connected with their communities of associated microbes, collectively referred to as the microbiota. We know a lot about what heath and disease states the microbiota is associated with in an animal, but we know much less about how the microbiota affects and is affected by these states.
Our lab tries to figure out how some of these connections work. We primarily focus on three major themes:
How bacteria from the gut microbiota impact host lipids and cholesterol
How bacteria interact with
How bacteria move through their symbiotic environments
We use a variety of techniques to get at these topics like genetics, mass spectrometry, microscopy, and bioinformatics. Overall, we try to let the questions drive our experiments, which means we're always looking to learn new approaches.