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My research has aimed to better understand the network of interactions that defines the relationships between nutrition and infection, integrating the roles of the host microbiota and immunity. I have developed a new axis of research in defining and investigating the interrelationships between nutrition and infection using an integrative and multidimensional approach. This research provides significant insights into nutritional regulations of the innate immune system, the gut microbiota and, infections by different types of parasites such as bacteria and viruses. I have been working so far with insect models including Drosophila melanogaster and the Queensland fruit fly Bactrocera tryoni, tractable and powerful invertebrate models to describe nutritional immunology and host-parasite relationships.


The methods I have established open a new avenue in the study of insect-symbiont relationships and are of broad interest to numerous research disciplines, spanning from nutrition and life-history theory to public and environmental health. Recently, my interest has been on translating my findings from insects to mammalian models (i.e., mice and humans). In collaboration with vertebrate immunologists, I have recently started a project on the brain-gut axis to decipher the roles of nutrition and the gut bacteria on serotonin pathways. This research will produce a detailed and multidimensional understanding of the relationships between the brain functioning and the gut microbiota, and will pave the way to new experimental designs in vertebrate systems.


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