Aayushi Uberoi, Ph.D.

Epithelial biology - Skin microbiome - Infectious diseases

Welcome to my personal website! I am currently a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Dr. Elizabeth Grice at University of Pennsylvania where I study the role of skin microbiome in wound healing. I completed my Ph.D. in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Lambert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying the role of papillomaviruses in skin diseases. I am interested in studying how host-pathogen interactions contribute to skin diseases.

I completed my Bachelor's in engineering majoring in Biotechnology at SRM University in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. I was selected as a Khorana Scholar by Department of Biotechnology, India and Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (2010) and came to the U.S. for summer research in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Hoffmann at McArdle Laboratory of Cancer Research. After a welcoming summer at Madison, I decided to join University of Wisconsin-Madison as a graduate student to pursue my PhD in cancer biology.

During my Ph.D., I established a novel model to study papillomavirus-mediated skin cancers using a Murine papillomavirus (MmuPV1). In this model I showed that ability of MmuPV1 to cause skin cancer is dependent on ability of UVB to cause systemic immunosuppression and that carcinogenesis is abolished in mice that are resistant to UVB-induced immunosuppression. This research led me to studying host-pathogen interactions in vivo in the context of a natural skin papillomavirus infection, for the first time. The MmuPV1-UV infection model represents the first instance of de novo papillomavirus-mediated carcinogenesis in mice resulting from active virus infection.

Traditionally, the approach of studying infectious diseases is limited to studying one pathogen in the context of the host, as demonstrated in my Ph.D. research. However, the human body is home to millions of microbes, the microbiome, that play key roles in modulating host responses in both healthy and diseased states. In my postdoctoral research, I am studying how the skin microbiome contributes to tuning epithelial responses