Interest in extraoral taste receptors, particularly bitter taste receptors, has exploded in the past few years. Their presence, whether on cilia or in specialized chemosensory cells, has been documented in many organ systems and they may serve a role in any number of physiologic functions. Our current research focuses on SCCs in the respiratory tract and their response to airway irritants. We utilize both mouse models and human tisues in a collaborative environment with other researchers in the RMTSC.
Dysbiosis in the CRS microbiome may seemingly serve as a biomarker or additional factor to endotype CRS subjects. However, we are currently interested in identifying functional roles for the microbiome in the health state, and potential causal mechanisms for induction or sustenance of chonic inflammation in CRS. This includes study of factors governing establishment of the airway microbiome, host-bacteria interactions at the airway surface, induction of inflammatory pathways, and resilience to perturbation. We have found age and cigarette smoke exposure to be factors in multivariate analysis of healthy subjects, and continue to explore mechanistic aspects of the microbiome in the airway.