The research in the Raz lab is focusing on the fundamentals of innate immunity. We study the Toll-like receptor (TLR) and the non-TLR activation pathways by which the host recognizes and responds to any microbial agent. We explore the consequences of this activation on antigen presentation by dendritic cells and its impact on priming of naïve CD4 and CD8 T cells as well as the generation of memory T cell responses.
Using a similar strategy, we investigate the role of transient receptor potential (TRP) family members in inflammation. This approach to basic science helps us to develop vaccines against various infectious agents (e.g., HIV), tumors and allergic diseases (i.e., asthma). Some of the therapeutic approaches developed in our lab are already used in humans.
Similarly, we explore the role of innate immunity in the inhibition of certain inflammatory conditions. In particular, we study the principles of host-commensal interaction in the G-I tract and explore how this interaction affects various inflammatory intestinal conditions and their human analogs such as inflammatory bowel disease and colitis-associated cancer.