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Lisa Willis

Assistant Professor

Science

Biological Sciences

Research

We work on two main areas of research: Glycoimmunology and Microbial Glycobiology

Glycoimmunology: Every cell in the human body is covered with a layer of sugars that are crucial for human health. The cells of the immune system rely on these sugars to identify healthy cells as well as those that are malfunctioning (like cancer cells) or pathogenic (like bacteria and viruses). We study how these sugars contribute to human health and what happens when they stop functioning properly in diseases like cancer and autoimmune disease.

Microbial Glycobiology: It has recently been discovered that bacteria make cytoplasmic glycoproteins in a system that is analogous to the human O-GlcNAc modification. We want to understand how bacterial protein glycosylation contributes to cellular homeostasis and environmental sensing in bacteria associated with the microbiome.


Teaching