Research

Our lab studies how immune responses are regulated within injured and infected tissues. We work at the intersection of immunology, structural biology, and microbiology to develop novel therapeutics to promote immune tolerance, wound healing, and resolution of infection. Major current areas of investigation include:

Bacteriophage in Human Immunity

We have identified novel roles for filamentous bacteriophage in modulating mammalian immunity.  We find that phage interact with the immune system in ways that subvert clearance of bacterial infections. DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00648-16

Biofilms and Wound Infections

pf4Biofilms are slimy coatings of extracellular matrix that allow pathogens like Pseudomonas aeruginosa to colonize diabetic wounds and other tissues. Biofilms promote adhesion, antibiotic resistance, and immune evasion. We are studying how biofilm polymers suppress local immune responses in infected wounds.

We have identified novel roles for bacteriophage in the pathogenesis of wound infections caused by P. aeruginosa. Our research indicates that Pf phage produced by P. aeruginosa act as structural elements in microbial biofilms. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.10.013.

Extracellular Matrix and Diabetic Wound Healing 

Chronic wounds, like tissues under autoimmune attack, are associated with an inflamed extracellular matrix that contributes to immune dysregulation and chronic wounds. We use models of diabetic wound healing to study how the extracellular matrix governs wound healing and local immunity at sites of injury and infection. Are current investigations are focused on studying how Hyaluronan and other ECM components influence wound healing.

Extracellular Matrix and Immune Regulation in Diabetes

IsletsWe are studying how the extracellular matrix contributes to immune regulation at sites of inflammation. In particular, we focus on the extracellular matrix polymer hyaluronan and its influence on the number and function of regulatory T-cells in autoimmune, Type 1 diabetes (T1D).  We have previously reported that the extracellular matrix contributes to the progression of autoimmune insulitis DOI: 10.1172/JCI79271 and other autoimmune diseases DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1525086113. Our current efforts are focused on understanding how the inflamed extracellular matrix influences local antigen presentation and cytolytic killing

 

Interested in joining the lab? 

We take high school and undergraduate students through the SSRP program: https://biosciences.stanford.edu/prospective/diversity/ssrp/

For Stanford Undergraduates interested in joining the lab, we require a minimum commitment of a full year (including full-time work in the lab for at least one summer). If you are interested, please contact Dr. Bollyky.