Nicola Harris

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Professeure associée

nicola.harris@epfl.ch

Site web: http://phd.epfl.ch/edms
Unité: EDMS-ENS

Données administratives

Enseignement & Phd

Enseignement

  • Life Sciences Engineering,

Programmes doctoraux

  • Doctoral Program in Molecular Life Sciences

Doctorants

Recherche

Our research

The intestinal mucosa represents an extensive interface between the body and the external environment that is constantly exposed to environmental micro-organisms. Amongst these commensal bacteria are present in vast numbers (1012 per gram of intestinal contents) in all individuals at all times. Worms (helminths) can also establish chronic infections within our intestines and were present in a near ubiquitous manner throughout mammalian evolution. Today intestinal helminths still infect approximately 1/3 of the world’s population, with the heaviest infections found in children living in poor communities within developing countries.

Our work aims to investigate; i) how the immune system can provide protection against heavy burdens of intestinal helminths, and ii) how intestinal helminths and/or commensal bacteria can modulate the responsiveness of our immune system. In regard to the latter aim we would like to understand why and how reduced exposure to specific intestinal bacteria species and/or intestinal helminths can predispose towards increased autoimmune and allergic diseases.