The Ramani Lab focuses on gastrointestinal infections and vaccines, particularly rotavirus and norovirus - the two leading causes of viral gastroenteritis worldwide. The goals of our research program are to understand factors that contribute to disease susceptibility and identify mechanisms to improve immune responses to enteric infectious agents and vaccines. We are interested in identifying correlates of protection from infection and vaccination and the factors that mediate vaccine failure, with the overall aim of developing appropriate interventions to improve public health.
Our research involves a combination of laboratory and population studies, and thus takes a complete bench-to-bedside approach to infectious diseases. Our scientific toolbox includes molecular characterization of host-microbial interactions and population studies to evaluate laboratory findings in human subjects. Key to this research is the use of state-of-the-art human intestinal organoid cultures. Obtained from diverse donors, these cultures provide a physiologically relevant and genetically representative system to understand human-pathogen interactions at a molecular level. We collaborate with an interdisciplinary group of researchers having clinical, epidemiological and scientific (viral pathogenesis, organoid biology, glycobiology) expertise and we are committed to the promotion of health care, particularly in resource-poor regions. Our long-term goals are to develop and stimulate new research on the role of glycans and the microbiome in infectious diseases and identify interventions with translational potential to improve human health.