Considerable cell fusion between hematopoietic linage cells and intestinal epithelial cells was previously reported in different conditions of inflammation and augmented epithelial proliferation. The mechanism defining the cellular fusion process, in mammals in general and in the intestine in particular, is poorly understood. My main research interests are:
1. to determine the mechanism underlying the cell fusion between intestinal epithelial cells and macrophages during intestinal inflammation in a parabiosis mouse model of Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and in an in vitro co-culture cell model.
2. to characterize the transcriptional phenotype of the fusion hybrids and determine whether the cell fusion hybrids have a physiological impact on the inflammatory process in IBD.