Namita Power – Past Member

MSc, Cell and Systems Biology University of Toronto, 2013 BSc, Cellular and Molecular Biology University of Ottawa, 2009 The relationship between our health and microbial inhabitants is poorly understood and likely to be vast in its implications with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD is used to collectively describe two distinct gastrointestinal tract diseases, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. We are concerned in identifying biomarkers and developing new approaches for predicting, diagnosing and treating those with Crohn’s disease. We hope these biomarkers could be applied in a noninvasive manner to improve the lives of these patients. Currently, I am comparing the status of potential biomarkers of the gut and blood in healthy versus diseased host states. The approaches I use include immune cell phenotyping by flow cytometry on innate and adaptive immune peripheral monocytes. I am assessing T-cells driving or regulating the immune response in chronic inflammatory states, and associated intracellular markers (IL-17a, TNF, and IFNg). Furthermore, we are interested in a unique innate T-cell subset, MAIT cells, which have been shown to be present in mucosal T-cells and react to microbial derived products.