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School of Medicine


Faculty and Staff

Jason Kubinak

Title: Assistant Professor of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
Department: Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
School of Medicine
Phone: 803-216-3400
Office:

Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
6311 Garners Ferry Rd., Bldg 2, Rm B19

Resources: www.thekubinaklab.com

Education

B.S. Conservation and Applied Ecology, Rutgers University, 2002
M.S. Zoology, James Cook University, QLD, AUS, 2005
Ph.D. Evolutionary Biology, University of Utah, 2011
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Immunology, University of Utah, 2011-2016

Research

Broadly, research in the Kubinak Lab focuses on understanding the physiological consequences of symbiotic interactions between hosts and members of the vast microbial community that is found in the lower gastrointestinal tract. Collectively, this assemblage of species is known as the 'microbiota'. The microbiota has a profound beneficial impact on host physiology by facilitating nutrient extraction from the diet, promoting proper immune system development, and providing protection from colonization of the gut by pathogenic microbes. However, the composition of the microbiota is altered under numerous inflammatory, allergic, and autoimmune disease states and emerging evidence (largely from studies utilizing germfree mice) have demonstrated that these shifts in microbiota composition can be primary drivers of disease. Abnormal microbiota composition that negatively impacts host physiology is a phenomenon termed 'dysbiosis'. The host immune system has evolved a variety of mechanisms to limit the pathological potential of the microbiota. One potent force of immune-mediated selection favoring benign host-microbiota interactions is the secretion of large amounts of immunoglobulin A (IgA) onto mucosal surfaces (the largest mucosal surface being found in the gut with an area roughly the size of a tennis court!). In the Kubinak Lab we seek to understand how primary (i.e. heritable) antibody deficiencies influence host-microbiota symbiosis in order to identify novel therapeutic interventions to treat gastrointestinal diseases driven by dysbiosis. Research in our lab is extremely inter-disciplinary. We utilize ecological/evolutionary thinking to frame our studies of host-microbe interactions while employing a variety of immunological, microbiological, and bioinformatic techniques to directly address our hypotheses. For a more complete description of ongoing projects in the Kubinak Lab please visit the Kubinak Lab website (address above).