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research overview Dr. Cuna's main research interest is on defining the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) – a devastating inflammatory bowel disease of preterm infants - and translating this knowledge to improve outcomes of NEC. His current focus is on understanding how host genetics and intestinal bacterial communities interact with each other to modulate inflammation in the developing neonatal gut. New knowledge gained from this research is anticipated to help in the development of personalized, microbial-based therapies based on underlying genetic predisposition and/or gut microbiome signatures to help maintain gut homeostasis. Such novel, individualized therapies are expected to drastically reduce the incidence of NEC in a safe and effective manner by targeting infants at highest risk of the disease.

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