The Jalili Research Group at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is focused on interrogating the host immunity, microbiome and their interface using different engineering tools in the context of infectious diseases, autoimmunity and cancer.
Monitoring and manipulating the immune-microbiota interactions:
The skin represents a dynamic and complex ecosystem, harboring and interacting with a plethora of locally-entrenched commensal microorganisms. The skin microbiota induces protective and regulatory immunity that contributes to host-microbe mutualism. The Jalili laboratory is interested in using novel, noninvasive technologies, such as microneedle skin patches, to longitudinally monitor the host immune-microbiome interface at different stages of diseases without perturbing the sampling area. We integrate multi-omics data sets, including single-cell transcriptomics, metagenomics and proteomics, to elucidate how the skin microbiome and the immune system are cross-regulated in the inflammatory and autoimmune skin conditions.
Bioinspired In vitro systems for disease modeling and therapeutic discovery:
Although animal models have been used extensively to analyze host−microbiome interactions and their contributions to pathophysiology, there are limited in vitro systems available to recapitulate the complexity of the human organs and verify the host immune-microbiome interactions. Thus, new systems are required to harbor both complex immune cells and microbiota to not only better model human diseases in vitro, but also serve as platforms for vaccine and therapeutic development. Our research group integrate animal and patient-derived organoids, iPSCs, immune cells and microbiome to develop complex models, such as engineered organoids and organ-on-a-chip systems, of human tissues and recapitulate the host-microbiome interactions in vitro. We are particularly interested in establishing inflammatory and autoimmune skin diseases on chip with the focus on psoriasis and dermatitis. We also model gastrointestinal immune-related diseases, with the specific focus on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colon cancer.