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The Flavell Lab

The Flavell Lab is interested in the molecular and cellular basis of the immune response. Our research leverages transgenic and gene-targeted mice to study the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system, and how these reciprocally regulate a broad range of biological processes. Our recent study by Jarret, Jackson et al. has shown that enteric neurons produce a pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-18 which plays a profound role in coordinating the immune state of intestinal tissues, promoting barrier immunity and protection against invasive bacterial pathogens. This highlights the paradigm that frames our research of the immune system as a highly integrated network constantly interacting with other physiological processes on multiple scales to produce complex biological systems able to adapt to environmental stresses and pathogens. (image by Holly Steach)