What we do

The overall focus of our research is on identifying and characterizing  novel mediators of innate immunity.

We employ the zebrafish model:

  1. to study the genetic and functional evolution of innate immune receptors,

  2. for examining the immunotoxicological effects of environmental chemicals, and

  3. as a model for identifying novel mediators of immunity.

Our studies on the evolution of immune receptors integrates genomic and transcriptomic data from all vertebrate lineages. Molecular, biochemical, genetic and genomic methods are employed routinely in our laboratory along with transgenesis, targeted gene disruption techniques and in vivo infection models. Our research is highly interdisciplinary as we collaborate with evolutionary biologists, structural biochemists, toxicologists, chemists, engineers and field biologists. Our research has been funded by NIH, NIEHS, NSF, MAF, TriCEM and a variety of foundations and agencies.