Wullaert team - Intestinal Host-Microbe Communication laboratory

Research Field: Host-microbe communication during inflammatory and infectious diseases in the gastrointestinal tract

Team leader: Prof. Dr. Andy Wullaert

Tel: +32 9 33 13 765
Email: Andy.Wullaert.spam.detractor@irc.vib-ugentspam.corruptor.be

Research topic

My research team is interested in the mechanisms orchestrating the communication network between the microbial and dietary triggers present in the intestinal lumen on the one hand, and the various types of stromal and immune cells in the intestinal mucosa on the other hand. We are investigating how host responses modulate the composition of the gut ecosystem, and how this in turn affects host health. This way, we aim to understand how alterations in this communication network, such as occurring during gastrointestinal infections, can affect intestinal inflammation and carcinogenesis as well as extra-intestinal immune homeostasis. For this purpose, we use genetic mouse models with defined mutations in the intracellular signalling pathways that regulate host responses to the gut luminal contents.The lab is part of the Ghent Gut Inflammation Group, a research consortium around intestinal inflammation at Ghent University.

Areas of expertise

  • In vivo mouse models of human inflammatory and infectious diseases in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Phylogenetic microbiome profiling by Illumina 16S sequencing
  • In vitro analysis of molecular signaling pathways controlling tissue homeostasis and inflammation in the intestine

Technology transfer potential

  • Identification of novel therapeutic targets in managing diseases that are controlled by intestinal host-microbe communication
  • Development of novel genetic mouse models for studying intestinal host-microbe communication

Selected publications

  1. Dubois H et al. Nlrp3 inflammasome activation and Gasdermin D-driven pyroptosis are immunopathogenic upon gastrointestinal norovirus infection.
    PLoS Pathog, 15, e1007709, 2019.
  2. Mamantopoulos, M., Ronchi, F et al. Nlrp6- and ASC-Dependent Inflammasomes Do Not Shape the Commensal Gut Microbiota Composition.
    Immunity. 47, 339-348, 2017.
  3. Vlantis, K. et al. TLR-independent anti-inflammatory function of intestinal epithelial TRAF6 signalling prevents DSS-induced colitis in mice.
    Gut 65, 935-943, 2016.
  4. Welz et al. FADD prevents RIP3-mediated epithelial cell necrosis and chronic intestinal inflammation.
    Nature 2011; 477(7364): 330-4.
  5. Nenci et al. Epithelial NEMO links innate immunity to chronic intestinal inflammation.
    Nature 2007; 446(7135): 557-61.

Histology and endoscopy of colitis in mice


Phylogenetic 16S DNA microbiota profiling


Intestinal epithelial organoid live cell imaging

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