Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

Milena Bogunovic, MD, PhD

Milena Bogunovic, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Scientific Program:Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis

Research Interests

Dr. Milena Bogunovic is a gastrointestinal mucosal immunologist. Her laboratory is interested in understanding the biology of mononuclear phagocytes – a heterogeneous family of immune cells, which includes blood monocytes and several tissue dendritic cell and macrophage subsets.

Gastrointestinal (GI) health is essential for overall body health. The GI tract is highly innervated to coordinate complex physiological responses related to food intake, digestion and absorption; it is also an immune organ with the largest accumulation of immune cells in the body, yet many gaps exist in our understanding of how the digestive tract is protected from dangerous factors ingested with food. Very little is known about the role of different mononuclear phagocyte family members in keeping the integrity of this physiologically complex and continuously challenged organ. How exactly each of the described mononuclear phagocyte subsets is involved in inducing the intestinal immune response to dietary, commensal and pathogenic microbial antigens is the research focus of Dr. Bogunovic’s lab. It is built on the hypothesis that mononuclear phagocyte diversity in the intestine is intended to provide a multifaceted immune response to antigenically complex luminal environment and to maintain tissue homeostasis in states of physiological and pathophysiological inflammation through division of labor.

Current projects in her lab are mainly focused on macrophages.  They aim to identify macrophage diversity in the inflamed mouse and human intestine, address the role of macrophages in neuroimmune integration and unravel the mechanisms behind the protective role of macrophages in infection, inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.

  • Dendritic Cells
  • Macrophages
  • Homeostasis
  • Phagocytes
  • Langerhans Cells
  • Population
  • Intestines
  • Health
  • Enteric Nervous System
  • Skin
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Neurons

Recent Publications


Kulkarni, S, Ganz, J, Bayrer, J, Becker, L, Bogunovic, M & Rao, M 2018, 'Advances in enteric neurobiology: The “brain” in the gut in health and disease', Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 38, no. 44, pp. 9346-9354.


Kulkarni, S, Micci, MA, Leser, J, Shin, C, Tang, SC, Fu, YY, Liu, L, Li, Q, Saha, M, Li, C, Enikolopov, G, Becker, L, Rakhilin, N, Anderson, M, Shen, X, Dong, X, Butte, MJ, Song, H, Southard-Smith, EM, Kapur, RP, Bogunovic, M & Pasricha, PJ 2017, 'Adult enteric nervous system in health is maintained by a dynamic balance between neuronal apoptosis and neurogenesis', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 114, no. 18, pp. E3709-E3718.


Koscsó, B & Bogunovic, M 2016, 'Analysis and purification of mouse intestinal dendritic cell and macrophage subsets by flow cytometry', Current Protocols in Immunology, vol. 2016, pp. 14.39.1-14.39.14.
Margolis, KG, Gershon, MD & Bogunovic, M 2016, 'Cellular Organization of Neuroimmune Interactions in the Gastrointestinal Tract', Trends in Immunology, vol. 37, no. 7, pp. 487-501.
Sisirak, V, Sally, B, D'Agati, V, Martinez-Ortiz, W, Özçakar, ZB, David, J, Rashidfarrokhi, A, Yeste, A, Panea, C, Chida, ASS, Bogunovic, M, Ivanov, III, Quintana, FJJ, Sanz, I, Elkon, KBB, Tekin, M, Yalçınkaya, F, Cardozo, TJJ, Clancy, RMM, Buyon, JPP & Reizis, B 2016, 'Digestion of Chromatin in Apoptotic Cell Microparticles Prevents Autoimmunity', Cell, vol. 166, no. 1, pp. 88-101.
Bogunovic, M 2016, 'ILC3s and the Willow Tree of Voices' Immunity, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 238-239.
Koscsó, B, Gowda, K & Bogunovic, M 2016, 'In vivo depletion and genetic targeting of mouse intestinal CX3CR1+ mononuclear phagocytes', Journal of Immunological Methods, vol. 432, pp. 13-23.


Panea, C, Farkas, AM, Goto, Y, Abdollahi-Roodsaz, S, Lee, C, Koscsó, B, Gowda, K, Hohl, TM, Bogunovic, M & Ivanov, II 2015, 'Intestinal Monocyte-Derived Macrophages Control Commensal-Specific Th17 Responses', Cell Reports, vol. 12, no. 8, 1940, pp. 1314-1324.
Koscsó, B, Gowda, K, Schell, T & Bogunovic, M 2015, 'Purification of dendritic cell and macrophage subsets from the normal mouse small intestine' Journal of Immunological Methods, vol. 421, pp. 1-13.

Clinical Trials Search

Children (age < 18 years)
Adults (age >= 18 years)