University of Washington,
Developmental Biology, Stem Cells & Aging
Microbiology, Infection & Immunity
Host/Pathogen Interactions in the Intestine
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The Smith lab is primarily focused on host/pathogen interactions at mucosal surfaces. We use 3D intestinal enteroid culture methodology to examine sensing of viruses and bacteria by host cells and to study the development, cell biology, and secretion mechanisms of intestinal epithelial cells. A major class of secreted host proteins that we study is a family of antimicrobial peptides called defensins, and we are interested in their role in viral infection and pathogenesis. We are also interested in the biology of intestinal Paneth cells and their role in Crohn’s disease.