Navil Perez

Navil  Perez
MIT Microbiome Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Katharina Ribbeck
Department: Biological Engineering
Areas of Research: Biomedical
Years: 2016-2017

Cellular interactions within microbial communities

Efforts have been made to create a blueprint of the human microbiome by characterizing the microbial populations ubiquitous to each part of the human body. A significant amount of progress has been made in cataloging the microbiome; however cellular interactions within these microbial communities have remained largely unexplored. This research will investigate how host induced factors mainly mucus affect quorum sensing cellular communication. Breakthroughs in understanding the role mucus plays in pacifying microbe-microbe competition can allow us to exploit mucus in the development of novel infection therapeutics.

My first experience with laboratory biology was an introduction to the microbiome. I have since remained fascinated by the magnitude of the effects of these microscopic organisms can have on human health. Today I am happy to study how the host environment modulates interactions among the organisms comprising the microbiome.