Megan T. Baldridge, MD, PhD
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
I am broadly interested in the complicated interplay between three important factors: commensal microbes, the host immune system, and viral and bacterial pathogens. Previous work has involved characterization of the intestinal commensal microbiota and interrogation of its role in regulation of both enteric viral infection and the host immune system. The coordination of next-generation sequencing efforts with in vivo infections and treatments in mouse models makes the exploration of transkingdom interactions possible. Moving forward, I will be exploring inflammation in the intestine induced by commensal bacteria and by pathogens, and the signaling pathways and transcription factors that regulate it. I will also be identifying the specific commensal bacteria necessary and sufficient to enhance and regulate viral infection in the intestine, and studying viral adaptation strategies to take advantage of commensal microbes and to infect at alternate host sites.