Broderick Lab


The Drosophila gut microbiome: system to study mechanisms and ecology of host-microbe interactions

Research in our lab seeks to identify the molecular basis of host-microbes and microbe-microbe interactions in the gut of D. melanogaster. The relative simplicity of the D. melanogaster-microbiome system permits manipulation of each player (host, microbiome, and pathogen) to identify factors and pathways important to animal physiology and behavior.








Mechanisms of microbiota establishment, maintenance, and host-induced phenotypes

The microbial components and host mechanisms that promote normal development, morphology, and function remain largely unknown. We examine host-microbe interactions across development to identify the microbiome factors and host mechanisms that lead to the establishment of microbiota-dependent phenotypes.


Ecology and Evolution of Disease

Understanding host and microbiome factors that lead to disease states is a necessary step to prevent or correct their perturbation. We study factors and response mechanisms that lead to contribute to disease susceptibility and explore their long-term impacts on the structure and evolution of the microbiome and host population.


Role of the host immune system on non-immune host processes

Analyzing how the innate immune system influences the outcome of interactions between the host and microbiome is a focus of the lab. The expression of more than half of the genes induced by gut microbiota are affected in immune-deficient flies, indicating that the gut immune response is a major regulator of the host response to microbiota. This also indicates that the impacts of the immune system extend well beyond what we would consider classical immune functions. We are particularly interested in exploring non-immune functions of genes and pathways we have traditionally characterized as having immune functions.

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