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Epithelial Cell Biology

Epithelial cells form the lining of the human airways and the first line of defense against viruses. This micrograph of the human nasal epithelium shows mucous- secreting cells (magenta), ciliated cells, and basal cells—all key players in antiviral defense. (photo by E.F. Foxman)

Understanding the interplay between fundamental host defenses within epithelial cells provides insight into the different ways epithelial surfaces can counteract damage, with implications for development, infectious disease and cancer. We are investigating epithelial stress and repair responses using primary human tissues and in vitro models, taking advantage of single cell analysis methods such as flow cytometry and single cell transcriptomics.