The results from my laboratory over the last 25 years have provided the initial and continuing results demonstrating the ability of microorganisms to produce and respond to neurochemicals that are capable of influencing host health, behavior and disease pathogenesis. This has resulted in the creation of a new translational scientific discipline uniting the fields of neurobiology and microbiology that has been termed microbial endocrinology. The realization that there is an evolutionary-based communication pathway between the microbiota and the host based on a shared neurochemistry provides for new mechanistic approaches to understanding the role of stress in infectious disease and the ability of the microbiota-gut-brain axis to influence behavior. Much of the initial work in microbial endocrinology took place during a long time frame in which substantial resistance from the scientific community to the introduction of such a translational concept was met. This has helped forge my approach in which I seek out an interdisciplinary team approach to address complex clinical issues involving the microbiota and the host.
Area of Expertise:
B.S., Medical Technology, Farleigh Dickinson University, 1976
M.S., Membrane Research, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, 1979
Ph.D., Cell Biology and Membrane Research, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, 1983
Postdoctoral, Immunology, Medical College of Virginia, 1985
Postdoctoral, Clinical Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 1986