Photo of Adrian GombartPrincipal Investigator, Linus Pauling Institute 
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Contact Information:
457 Linus Pauling Science Center
541-737-8018 / 541-737-5077 (fax)
adrian.gombart@oregonstate.edu

 

Research Interests

Our research is focused on understanding how vitamin D regulates immunity.

When immune cells called macrophages encounter a pathogen and become activated, the vitamin D pathway is turned on and lead to the induction of the cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide if vitamin D levels are sufficient - but only in humans and primates. Therefore, we developed a transgenic mouse that carries the human cathelicidin gene to determine how well vitamin D protects against infection.

Another focus of our research is to identify additional dietary compounds that regulate the expression of the cathelicidin gene, which could protect the gut from infection. The identification of new regulatory compounds may give clues as to how the gene is regulated in vivo and lead to the identification of other nutrients that can be used to boost the immune system.