Milena Bogunovic, MD, PhD
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
- Langerhans Cells
- Enteric Nervous System