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Research group Eduardo Villablanca

Immune cell homeostasis at the intestinal barrier, PI Eduardo J. Villablanca


Czarnewski P., et al, Nutrients, 2017.

Research interests:

Mucosal Immunology, Oral tolerance, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Introduction

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is a manifestation of an inappropriate inflammatory response to intestinal microorganisms in genetically susceptible individuals. IBD is a multifactorial complex disease, which is believed to originate from anomalous balance between tolerogenic and inflammatory immune responses against “self” antigens. Although substantial progress has been made over the last decade in defining the genetic architecture of IBD, there is currently no cure likely due to a yet incomplete understanding of the causes leading to IBD.

Research focus

Our lab is seeking to understand the genetic, cellular and environmental contribution towards inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) susceptibility. We have developed a research program that integrates cellular immunology, bioinformatics and the creation of novel in vivo models to ultimately interrogate the function of IBD-associated polymorphisms as well as to study host-microbiota interactions. In particular, we are trying to understand how deregulation of intestinal immune homeostasis might lead to IBD and trying to discover the function of IBD-risk genes identified by Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). To discover the function of IBD-risk genes, we focus on biological processes that are involved at the initiation (priming of adaptive immune responses), progression (chronic inflammation) or resolution (tissue repair) of IBD. To translate genetic mutations to function, we have developed an innovative pipeline that integrate bioinformatics and animal models, including zebrafish and mouse, to ultimately validate candidate mutations in human tissues by using organoids. We aim to transform the way in which the gene-environment interactions are currently being investigated.

Team members

Current

Martina Parigi, PhD student (2014- )

Srustidhar Das, PhD / Postdoc (2015- )

Chiara Sorini, PhD / Postdoc (2016- )

Oscar Perez, PhD student (2016- )

Cristian Doñas, PhD / postdoc (2017- )

Annika Frede, PhD / postdoc (2017- )

Rebeca Cardoso, PhD student (2017- )

Roham Parsa, PhD / postdoc (2017- )

Rodrigo Morales, PhD / postdoc (2018- )

Kumar P. Tripathi, PhD / postdoc (2018- )

Santoshnisikranth Inampudi, research tech (2017- )

Past

Sara Fernandez, research tech (2015)

Paulo Czarnewski, PhD / Postdoc (2015)

Suvi Karvinen, Master student (2017)

Muksheed Shaik, research tech (2017)

Anders Appelblom, Master Student (2017)

Shuangjia Xue, Master Student (2017)

Villablanca lab 2019.

Villablanca lab July 2016. (Left to right: Srustidhar Das, Martina Parigi, Eduardo J. Villablanca, Chiara Sorini, Oscar Perez, Paulo Czarnewski). Photo Casper W.

Links

https://twitter.com/ejvillablanca?lang=en

https://www.facebook.com/villablancalab/

Selected publications

Link to all publications on PubMed here.

(orcid.org/0000-0001-9522-9729)

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Conserved transcriptomic profile between mouse and humans allows temporal dynamic visualization of IBD-risk genes and unsupervised patient stratificationCzarnewski P, Parigi SM, Sorini C., Diaz OE., Das D, Gagliani N., & Villablanca EJ. BioRxiv. 2019 doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/520379

Open positions

We always want to get in touch with highly motivated students and potential post-docs. If you are interested in doing research within our group please contact the group leader Eduardo Villablanca.