Dr Ainize Peña Cearra
Visiting Research Fellow
- Host-Microbiome Interactions
Dr Ainize Peña has been focused on the study of host-microbiota interactions during inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). She performed her doctoral work in the University of the Basque Country (Bilbao, Spain) in collaboration with CIC bioGUNE (Bilbao, Spain), in which she studied the role of the mitochondrial negative regulator MCJ in the interplay between microbiota and the host during ulcerative colitis. During her PhD programme she worked 6-months in the Immunobiology department at the Yale School of Medicine in 2019 to further understand how microbiota interact with the host.
In 2022, Ainize obtained a postdoctoral fellowship from the Basque Government and she moved to London to join the Neves lab at King´s. She aims to decipher the mechanisms behind host-microbiota interactions in health and IBD disease, which requires representative models imitating the gastrointestinal ecosystem, comprising the intestinal epithelium, the gut microbiota and immune cells. Hence, her work at King´s is based on the development of intestinal organoids for the study of host-microbe interactions, including the investigation of individual potential pathogenic species, to discover novel microbial therapies.