June Round, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Pathology
Institution
University of Utah
Address
4208A EEJMRB
15 N. Medical Drive East
City, State, Zip
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Phone
(801) 213-4164
E-mail
june.round[at]path.utah.edu
Website
http://www.path.utah.edu/research/cbi/june-round/
Research Field
Microbiology
Award Year
2013

Research

Our lab studies the role of commensal bacteria in our bodies, collectively referred to as the microbiota. To function properly, our immune system must differentiate between these resident bacteria and foreign invading pathogens. Our bodies maintain these microbes without killing them. While it was previously unclear why our immune system allowed such large communities of commensal bacteria to persist, the benefits are becoming clear. We previously demonstrated that one such microbe, Bacteriodes fragiles, can confer protection from inflammatory diseases when it colonizes a host. With the Pew award, I plan to evaluate the hypothesis that signaling to immune cells by toll-like receptors (TLRs) is key to making a host tolerant to commensal microbes. By transplanting specific microbial communities into germfree mice, we will investigate how TLR signaling influences immune system development and the structure of the microbiota. This research has the potential to uncover the importance of good bacteria in our bodies, and the mechanisms our immune system uses to maintain these communities of bacteria.

Scholar Keywords