Dr John Worthington

Lecturer in Infection Biology

Research Overview

The intestinal epithelium offers the first interaction between commensal bacteria, pathogens and our bodies’ largest immune system. Inappropriate immune responses drive inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or excessive inflammation during infection. My research focuses on the epithelial enteroendocrine cells (EECs), which release peptide hormones in response to nutrients allowing their efficient digestion. EEC alterations are strongly associated with inflammation, yet the possibility of interactions between our gut’s endocrine and immune systems remains overlooked. Understanding the mechanistic cross-talk between enteroendocrine and immune cells will identify the immunoendocrine axis as a key feature of intestinal health which could be therapeutically targeted during disease.