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Wednesday, 27 April 2011
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Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Group

Nutritional Immunology Research Group

Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Research Group
Back row: William Horne, Daniel Soronellas, Adria Carbo, Pinyi Lu, Kevin Muite, Fabien Lu,
Middle row: Isabel Fonseca, Monica Viladomiu, Josep Bassaganya-Riera, Raquel Hontecillias, Sandra Genis, Nikki Lewis
First row: Montse Climent, Mireia Pedragosa, Miriam Gutierrez, Alexandra Casanas, Merce Humedas

Dr. Josep Bassaganya-Riera
Associate Professor, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
(540) 231-7421; Email: jbassaga@vbi.vt.edu or jbassaga@vt.edu

Administrative Specialist:
Jodi Lewis
(540) 231-0714; Email: jlewis@vbi.vt.edu

Under the guidance of Dr. Bassaganya-Riera and Dr. Hontecillas, the Nutritional Immunology Group at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute is committed to a transdisciplinary, team-science approach for creating new scientific knowledge with a practical use. Our work is at the interface of immunology, inflammation and nutrition. We are leading biomedical research programs on nutraceutical discovery, gastrointestinal health, prevention of obesity-related inflammation and infectious diseases. Developing novel approaches for modulating immune and inflammatory responses is the central integrative theme amongst these active areas of research and discovery. Our efforts have received support from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, Bristol Myers Squibb, Cognis Nutrition and Health GmbH, Lipid Nutrition, Foundations and commodity groups.


Work is in progress in the following areas:

  • Identifying novel, bioactive and naturally occurring modulators of inflammation and analyzing the relation between nutraceutical targets and disease-gene products
  • Investigating the mechanisms of immune modulation by naturally occurring agonists of nuclear receptors and identifying their molecular targets in immunological networks
  • Characterizing the mechanisms of obesity-related inflammation at the cellular and molecular levels and discovering novel therapies for uncoupling obesity from its co-morbidities (i.e., diabetes, heart disease, stroke)
  • Developing novel therapies against inflammatory bowel disease and inflammation-induced colorectal cancer
  • Characterizing mucosal immune responses to respiratory pathogens for a rational design of mucosal vaccines and immune modulatory therapeutics
  • Unveiling the gastric microbiome and its potential role in chronic disease prevention


Current team members:

  • Josep Bassaganya-Riera DVM, PhD (Associate Professor)
  • Raquel Hontecillas DVM, PhD (Assistant Professor)
  • Adria Carbo
  • Alexandra Casanas
  • Montse Climent
  • Isabel Fonseca
  • Sandra Genis
  • Miriam Gutierrez
  • William Horne
  • Merce Humedas
  • Nikki Lewis
  • Fabien Lu
  • Pinyi Lu
  • Keith Muite
  • Mireia Pedragosa
  • Daniel Soronellas
  • Monica Viladomiu


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