Ben’s PhD at Princeton University involved developing advanced human liver tissue culture models and humanized mouse models to study how the Hepatitis B virus establishes chronic infections.
As a Schmidt Science Fellow, working in The Morgan Huse Lab in close collaboration with the Cyster and Weiner labs at UCSF, Ben aims to take a systems biology approach to explore how migratory immune cells navigate the body. By understanding at a molecular level how individual cells interpret external chemical cues for proper guidance and function, he hopes to advance knowledge in immunology, neuro-immune communication, infectious disease, and cancer biology.
Ben is motivated to understand how dysregulation occurs in immune cells. Specifically, how the inability to properly interpret the chemical information they receive from a variety of cell types such as neurons, stromal cells, other immune cells, or the microbiome and how this can lead to migration/functional defects and severe disease. By formulating a molecular logic tree of these communication and decision-making processes he hopes to be able to find ways to correct misinterpretations and to formulate new cell engineered based therapies for a myriad of disorders.