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Susan Tonkonogy, PhD

Susan Tonkonogy








Director, of the Gnotobiotic Animal Core of the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease.

PhD: Harvard University
Post Doctoral:
1) Swiss Institute for Experimental
    Cancer Research
2) Duke University Medical Center

Phone: 919-513-6252
Fax: 919-513-6464

Research Area

Mucosal immunology

Current Research

My current research focuses on cytokine mediated regulation of immunity and inflammation in the intestinal tract. Our studies are designed to determine how the intestinal immune response is involved in initiation and perpetuation of chronic intestinal inflammation that occurs in human inflammatory bowel disease.

Current Projects

Colitis Induced by Immune Responses to Luminal Bacteria

The aim of our current studies is to elucidate the role of virulence gene products on the development of enterocolitis in IL-10 deficient mice. Our hypothesis is that persistent exposure of previously germ-free mice to invasive, translocating, intracellular commensal bacteria induces bacterial antigen-driven T cell responses that cause chronic intestinal inflammation.

Current Collaborators

Dr. R. Balfour Sartor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine

Recent Publications

Albright CA, Sartor RB, Tonkonogy SL. 2009 Endogenous antigen presenting cell-derived IL-10 inhibits T lymphocyte responses to commensal enteric bacteria. Immunol Lett 123:77-87.

Moran JP, Walter J, Tannock GW, Tonkonogy SL, Sartor RB. 2009. Bifidobacterium animalis causes extensive duodenitis and mild colonic inflammation in monoassociated interleukin-10 deficient mice. Inflamm Bowel Dis 15:1022-1031.

Liu B, Tonkonogy SL, Sartor RB. 2011. IL-10 produced by antigen presenting cells inhibits bacterial-responsive TH1/TH17 cells and suppresses colitis in mice. Gastroenterology 141:653-62.

Steck N, Hoffmann M, Irina S, Kim S, Hahne H, Tonkonogy SL, Mair K, Krueger D, Pruteanu M, Shanahan F, Vogelmann R, Schemann M, Küster B, Sartor RB, Haller D. 2011. Bacterial proteases contribute to intestinal inflammation by impairing mucosal barrier function in the susceptible host. Gastroenterology 141:959-71.

Lab Personnel

Anna Yedinak – Research Technician
Contact Information:
CVM Main Building, Room B313,B315

Lab: 513-6359


Gnotobiotic Animal Core, Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease