Research to Improve Women's Reproductive Health
The Kaushic Lab focuses on understanding host-pathogen interactions within the female genital tract, particularly innate and mucosal immunity against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We investigate key factors such as sex hormones, co-infections, as well as the vaginal microbiome to understand how these affect infection and outcomes of sexually transmitted viruses HIV-1 and HSV-2. The lab has a variety of clinical and basic science research projects which involve in vivo mouse modelling, clinical sampling, as well as in vitro primary cultures and cell lines. By better understanding interactions between the vaginal environment and STIs, such knowledge can be implemented towards development of prophylactic strategies to prevent STIs in women. Currently, the laboratory is funded by a CIHR grant awarded to Dr. Kaushic.