Postdoctoral News

Anisa Ismail Awarded the NIH/NRSA Fellowship

Dr. Anisa Ismail, a postdoctoral fellow in the Bassler lab, was awarded the NIH/NRSA fellowship for her project "Quorum sensing in the commensal bacterium Bacteroides fragilis." The intestinal epithelium represents a crucial interface between mammals and their beneficial microbial partners. Nonetheless, little is known about the mechanisms regulating beneficial relations with these commensal bacteria. By investigating quorum sensing in commensal bacteria in the intestine, Anisa hopes to uncover principles that will lead to therapeutic manipulation of gut microflora to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a group of chronic disorders thought to arise through disregulated relationships between the host and commensal microbiota. Beyond treating IBD patients, in the long term, a rigorous understanding of commensal bacterial-human gut interactions could lead to strategies to exploit beneficial bacteria to prevent infection by invading microbes. Such strategies could be used to generally improve human health.

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