Dr. Herbst-Kralovetz’s research lab is broadly interested in understanding innate mucosal immune responses to resident bacteria, pathogens (e.g HSV-2), and microbial products at mucosal sites, including the female reproductive tract. She has a long-standing interest and background in studying infections that impact in women’s health.
The mucosa provides a major immune barrier (physical, biological, and chemical) to microbial insult and her lab is interested in studying the mucosal barrier function of the lower female reproductive tract and its role in host defense against infection and inflammation as well as maintaining mucosal homeostasis.
Vaginal microbiota play a key role in maintaining homeostasis, as such, understanding this complex interplay in the female reproductive tract is critically important. Areas of study in the Herbst-Kralovetz lab include host-microbe interactions, immunobiology and the impact of innate immune mediators, including antimicrobial peptides throughout the female reproductive tract, which is widely relevant to infection, immunity, reproduction and even cancer.
Dr. Herbst-Kralovetz’s lab is currently utilizing an innovative rotating wall vessel bioreactor to produce robust, differentiated and reproducible human mucosal epithelial models for elucidating host-microbe interactions and studying potential interventions (vaccines and microbicides).
In addition, her current work involves the preclinical evaluation of a mucosally-delivered norovirus VLP-based vaccine and testing novel mucosal adjuvants. For more information please see a list of her recent publications below.
Video Link: Research: Unlocking Mysteries in Women's Health - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgkyMzjcka8