My research program focuses on understanding the mechanisms of oral and gastrointestinal pathogenesis in human immunodeficiency (HIV) infection. In particular, we are analyzing the role of the microbiome in the manifestation of chronic immune activation, inflammation, and opportunistic secondary infections. Newly developed high throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have revealed that opportunistic infections in HIV patients often represent polymicrobial perturbations (dysbiosis) of what is normally a delicately balanced homeostatic host-microbe ecosystem. Our objectives are to understand the mechanistic relationship between alterations in the bacterial, fungal, and viral communities of the oral and intestinal microbiome, and the deterioration of epithelial and innate immune functions that influence host susceptibility to secondary infections and disease progression. To accomplish these goals, we are balancing clinical studies of well-established cohorts of HIV infected patients with basic translational research using the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) non-human primate model. We utilize state-of-the-art next-generation sequencing, multiple RNA and protein-based gene expression strategies, and in vitro tissue engineering technologies in our efforts to comprehensively unravel the causes and consequences of host-microbe dysbiosis in HIV infection.
Lab Page: www.mdgeorgeblog.com
HMSB Core blog page: http://www.ucdhostmicrobe.wordpress.com
George MD and Smuth DM. 2014. Mucosal immunity in HIV infection: what can be done to restore gastrointestinal-associated lymphoid tissue function? Curr Opin Infect Dis. (3):275-81
Ocon S, Murphy C, Dang AT, Sankaran-Walters S, Li CS, Tarara R, Borujerdpur N, Dandekar, S, Paster BJ, George MD. 2013. Transcription Profiling Reveals Potential Mechanisms of Dysbiosis in the Oral Microbiome of Rhesus Macaques with Chronic Untreated SIV Infection. PLos One. 29:8(11):e80863.
Dang, AT, Cotton S, Sankaran-Walters, S, Li, CS, Lee, CY, Dandekar, S, Paster, BJ, George, MD. 2012. Evidence of an increased pathogenic footprint in the lingual microbiome of untreated HIV infected patients. BMC Microbiology. 12:153.
Bellet MM, Deriu E, Liu JZ, Grimaldi B, Blaschitz C, Zeller M, Edwards RA, Sahar S, Dandekar S, Baldi P, George MD, Raffatellu M, Sassone-Corsi P. 2013. Circadian clock regulates the host response to Salmonella. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 110(24):9897-902.
Martin ME, Bhatnagar S, George MD, Paster BJ, Canfield DR, Eisen JA, Solnick JV. 2013. The impact of Helicobacter pylori Infection on the Gastric Microbiota of the Rhesus Macaque. PLos One. 8:8(10):e86375.
Dandekar S, George MD, Baumler AJ. 2010. Th17 cells, HIV and the gut mucosal barrier. Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 5(2):173-8.