The focus in my laboratory is to study the molecular events that regulate the genesis of an immune response. As a model system, we are investigating the role of the gastric epithelium during the mucosal immune response to Helicobacter pylori. We have found that th gastric epithelium has several properties that are common to antigen presenting cells 1-3. During our work to characterize T cell antigens in Helicobacter pylori, we discovered that the bacterium usurps proteins that are essential to trigger the host response and uses them as receptors to adhere to the host's epithelium 1,4. We are currently examining pathogen-epithelial-immune interactions that are involved in pathogenesis and/or immunity in order to identify processes that could be targeted in the development of novel immunotherapeutic agents.