Research interests in the Kao Laboratory concern the mechanisms of immune dysregulation leading to diseases of the luminal gastrointestinal tract.
We aim to elucidate the role of dendritic cells in host response to H. pylori colonization. The mechanisms of H. pylori–induced regulatory T cell response are being characterized.
We aim to define the role of gut microflora/probiotics in maintaining homeostasis of the gastrointestinal tract. Studies are being conducted to determine whether specific communities of microbes are responsible for influencing host response against invading pathogens. In addition, we are examining the influence of changes in microbiota on mouse susceptibility to inflammatory bowel diseases.