Host-Microbe Interactomics group

The HMI group is focused on interactions of pathogens and probiotics with intestinal epithelial and immune cells.

Key persons involved

Jerry Wells, PhD, has almost 20 years research/management experience in academia and industry. He is currently Chair holder for the HMI Group at WU and Principal Scientist within the Netherlands Top Institute Food and Nutrition. (http://www.hmi.wur.nl/UK/). This multidisciplinary Chair group has combined expertise and facilities to perform internationally competitive research on the host and microbe as a system. Our research lines include probiotic bacteria as well as animal and human pathogens such as Streptococcus suis and Campylobacter jejuni. Our main interests lie with the cross-talk between non-pathogenic and pathogenic bacteria with the intestinal epithelium and underlying immune cells of the mucosal tissue. Our research has applications in the areas of intestinal health, vaccination, immunomodulation, and antimicrobial discovery. Current research topics include 1.Innate defence mechanisms in the small intestine;  2. Probiotic interactions with dendritic cells; 3. Discovery of novel antimicrobials; 4. Role of surface proteins in virulence and pathogenesis of disease caused by Streptococcus; 5. Modelling epithelial infection.

3 key publications

  • Karczewski J, Troost FJ, Konings I, Dekker J, Kleerebezem M, Brummer RJ, Wells JM. (2010). Regulation of human epithelial tight junction proteins by Lactobacillus plantarum in vivo and protective effects on the epithelial barrier. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2010 Jun;298(6):851-9.[Pubmed]
  • Meijerink M, van Hemert S, Taverne N, Wels M, de Vos P, Bron PA, Savelkoul HF, van Bilsen J, Kleerebezem M, Wells JM. (2010). Identification of genetic loci in Lactobacillus plantarum that modulate the immune response of dendritic cells using comparative genome hybridization. PLoS One. 2010 May 13;5(5):e10632.[Pubmed]
  • Wells J.M, Rossi O, Meijerink M and van Baarlen P. (2010). Epithelial Crosstalk at the Microbiota-Mucosal Interface. PNAS 2010 Sep 8. [Epub ahead of print]. [Pubmed]