Dr. Sonnenberg and Colleagues Publish Key Finding in Nature: How Immune System Tolerates Friendly Gut Bacteria

Dr. Gregory Sonnenberg

Building upon his laboratory’s many discoveries centered around ILC3s, Dr. Gregory Sonnenberg has published another breakthrough in Nature (September 7, 2022).

Serving as senior author, Dr. Sonnenberg and team have defined a novel pathway involving the group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s) and interactions between T cells and a transcription factor known as RORγt. Specifically, the team has determined that the mechanism involved plays an essential role in establishing tolerance to symbiotic microbes that dwell in the human gastrointestinal tract.

“This is a fundamental advance in our understanding of mucosal immunity and may hold the key to understanding what goes wrong when the immune system begins to inappropriately attack microbiota in diseases such as IBD,” explains Dr. Sonnenberg.

It is expected that this seminal finding holds the key to better treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colon cancer, other chronic disorders, and beyond.

Dr. Sonnenberg is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology in Medicine and Head of Basic Research in the WDOM’s Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. He is also a member of the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Weill Cornell Medicine.

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