Maayan Levy, Ph.D.

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Assistant Professor of Microbiology
Co-Director, Penn Gnotobiotic Mouse Core, University of Pennsylvania
Department: Microbiology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
3610 Hamilton Walk, 301A Johnson Pavilion
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-898-3469
Lab: 215-898-3888
B.Sc. (Biology and Biotechnology)
Tel Aviv University, 2009.
M.Sc. (Life Sciences)
Weizmann Institute of Science, 2011.
Ph.D. (Immunology )
Weizmann Institute of Science, 2017.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Summary

Our global interest at the Levy lab is to understand the communication between the microbiome and the host, focusing on intestinal epithelial cells as mediators of this interaction.
Our main focus is on the gastrointestinal tract, which contains the highest density of microorganisms on Earth. It is therefore intriguing that merely a single layer of epithelial cells separates the microbial community from the sterile host. Our goal is to decipher how this single layer of intestinal epithelial cells performs the tightrope walk between host defense against microbial invasion and nutrient absorption. Failure to perform this critical task results in barrier permeability and ensuing chronic inflammatory diseases.
Using state of the art technologies, gnotobiotic mice, high throughput metabolic screening and next-generation sequencing, we aim to elucidate new mechanistic aspects of host-microbiome communication.
In the lab we also study the idea that the metabolic and immune functions of epithelial cells are not uncoupled, but actually parts of the same intracellular circuits. The enormous biochemical repertoire of the intestinal microbiome exposes the intestinal epithelium to a large variety of metabolites, but very little is known about how epithelial cells integrate these metabolites into intracellular metabolic circuits to initiate appropriate regulatory responses. Our goal is to unravel the influence of microbial metabolites on epithelial metabolism, immune response, and epithelial host defense.

Rotation Projects
Please contact Maayan Levy for current rotation projects.

Selected publications
1. Levy M, Kolodziejczyk A, Thaiss CA & Elinav E. Dysbiosis and the immune system, Nature Reviews Immunology, 2017
2. Thaiss CA, Levy M, Korem T, et al. Microbiota biogeography and metabolome orchestrate the host circadian transcriptional and epigenetic landscape, Cell, 2016
3. Levy M, Thaiss CA & Elinav E. Metabolites: messengers between the microbiota and the immune system, Genes and Development, 2016
4. Thaiss CA, Zmora N, Levy M & Elinav E. Interactions of the microbiome and the innate immune system, Nature, 2016
5. Levy M, Thaiss CA, Zeevi D, et al. Microbiota-Modulated Metabolites Shape the Intestinal Microenvironment by Regulating NLRP6 Inflammasome Signaling, Cell, 2015
6. Levy M, Thaiss CA & Elinav E. Taming the inflammasome, Nature Medicine, 2015
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Last updated: 05/28/2024
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