Michael C. Abt, PhD

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Assistant Professor of Microbiology
Department: Microbiology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
303B Johnson Pavilion, 3610 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Office: 215-573-2019
Lab: 215-898-6736
B.S. (Biology)
Loyola University of Maryland, 2006.
Ph.D. (Immunology)
University of Pennsylvania, 2012.
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Description of Research Expertise

Investigating Immune-Microbiome Interactions

The goals of the Abt lab are to examine interactions between the microbiota and the immune system in the context of infectious disease. The microbiome, consisting of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa, can modulate immune defense pathways thereby altering host susceptibility to infection. The lab’s research fuses the disciplines of mucosal immunology, microbial pathogenesis and microbial ecology to investigate mechanisms of immune homeostasis and protective immunity.

Our research focuses on the pathogenesis of and host response to Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that infects the large intestine following perturbation of the intestinal microbiota. C. difficile represents one of the most urgent public health threats in the United States with high recurrence rates following antibiotic treatment, which highlights the need to identify alternative strategies to control this disease.

C. difficile is the first disease effectively treated with microbiota-based therapeutics, however implementation of this therapy as a reliable treatment option is limited due to inadequate understanding of its mechanism of action. Using a murine model of C. difficile infection and human clinical samples, our research investigates immune-microbiota regulation of C. difficile associated disease. These studies seek to reveal insights that are broadly applicable to the treatment of infectious or inflammatory diseases driven by dysbiosis of the microbiome.

The Abt lab is actively recruiting graduate students to join the lab. If you are interested in discussing rotation projects, visit https://abtlab.med.upenn.edu/ or send an email to michael.abt@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Selected Publications

Abt MC, Lewis BB, Caballero S, Xiong H, Carter RA, Susac , Ling L, Leiner I, Pamer EG: Innate Immune Defenses Mediated by Two ILC Subsets Are Critical for Protection against Acute Clostridium difficile Infection. Cell Host & Microbe 18(1): 27-37, Jul 2015.

Abt MC and Pamer EG: Commensal bacteria mediated defenses against pathogens. Curr. Opin. Immunol. 29C: 16-22, 2014.

Geiger TL, Abt MC, Gasteiger G, Firth M, Rudensky AY, Van de Brink MR, Pamer EG, Hanash AM, Sun JC: Nfil3 is crucial for development of innate lymphoid cells and host protection against intestinal pathogens. J Ex Med 211(9): 1723-31, Aug 2014.

Lagor WR, Fields DW, Baur RC, Crawford A, Abt MC, Artis D, Wherry EJ, Rader DJ: Genetic manipulation of the ApoF/Stat2 locus supports an important role for type I interferon signaling in atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis 233(1): 234-41, 2014.

Laidlaw BJ, Decman V, Ali M-AA, ABt MC, Wolf AI, Monticelli LA, Mozdzanowska K, Angelosanto JM, Artis D, Erikson J, Wherry EJ: Cooperactivity Between CD8+ T Cells, Non-Neutralizing Antibodies, and Alveolar Macrophages is Important for Heterosubtypic Influenza Virus Immunity. PLoS Pathog. 9(3): e1003207, 2013.

Abt MC and Artis D: The dynamic influence of commensal bacteria on the immune response to pathogens. Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 16(1): 4-9, 2013.

Casey KA, Fraser KA, Schenkel JM, Moran A, Abt MC, Lucas P, Artis D, Wherry EJ, Hogquist K, Vezys V, Masopust D: Antigen independent tissue programming of effector-memory T cell differentiation and maintenance. J. Immun 188(10): 4866-75, 2012.

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Last updated: 01/23/2024
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