Pathogens and Chronic Disease
Research in the Weller Lab focuses on the intricate relationship between pathogens and the onset of autoimmune diseases, particularly Sjogren's Disease (SjD). We investigate potential pathogenic reservoirs that might contribute to the development or progression of chronic autoimmune conditions. Undergraduate students in this stream will be trained in a range of molecular biology techniques. These include RNA/DNA isolation to study the genetic material of pathogens and in vitro models/protein characterization to understand their functional roles/and in vivo and in vitro models to monitor pathogen-host interactions. Additionally/students will gain experience in immunohistochemistry/enabling detailed visualization of cellular and tissue-level responses. The research extends to informatics/where students will analyze and interpret complex datasets. Computational modeling and epidemiological analyses of global infectious disease data are integral to our approach, helping us identify and understand potential pathogenic reservoirs associated with autoimmune diseases. The lab operates with a strong emphasis on collaboration and a data-driven methodology. Together, we work to unravel the intricate associations between pathogens and the immune system, aiming to shed light on the etiology of autoimmune diseases and inform potential therapeutic strategies.