The genital mucosa provides a major immune barrier (physical, biological, and chemical) to microbial insult and the Herbst-Kralovetz lab is interested in studying the mucosal barrier function of the lower female reproductive tract and its role in host defense against infection and inflammation as well as maintaining mucosal homeostasis.
Vaginal microbiota play a key role in maintaining homeostasis, as such, understanding this complex interplay in the female reproductive tract is critically important. Areas of study in the Herbst-Kralovetz lab include host-microbe interactions, immunobiology and the impact of innate immune mediators, including antimicrobial peptides throughout the female reproductive tract, which is widely relevant to infection, immunity, reproduction and cancer. Funded studies include projects investigating cervical and endometrial cancer.
Dr. Herbst-Kralovetz’s lab employs an innovative rotating wall vessel bioreactor designed by NASA to produce robust, 3-D differentiated and reproducible human mucosal epithelial models for elucidating host-microbe interactions and studying potential interventions (vaccines and microbicides).
In addition, we are applying multi-omics approaches (e.g. immunoproteomics, metabolomics, and microbiome profiling) to integrate our clinical and laboratory-based model findings.
Basic and Translational Research Interests in Women's Health
Leveraging 3-D human models of the female reproductive tract to understand host defense mechanisms to genital microbiota and STI pathogens
Understanding the role of microbiota in gynecologic cancer, health disparities, cancer therapy and quality of life
Investigating the complex interplay between the gut and vaginal microbiome in a variety of disease states related to women's health
Revealing drug-microbiota interactions that impact therapeutic efficacy
- K-12 MedStart Program (Hands On Lab demonstrations and lectures)
- Career Opportunities in Biomedical Sciences (K-12)
- UA Mini Med School
- Friends of the Cancer Center
- The Herbst-Kralovetz lab hosts at least 1 student/year
- Promoting HPV vaccination awareness
- Promoting cervical cancer screening
The Herbst-Kralovetz lab would like to recognize funding from the NIH NIAID, Alternatives Research & Development Foundation, Flinn Foundation, The Mary Kay Foundation,and the EU European Social Fund and Knowledge Education Development program.
The Herbst-Kralovetz Lab is in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine - Phoenix. Dr. Herbst-Kralovetz is cross-appointed in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a member of the Bio5 Institute, UA Cancer Center, and the Clinical Translational Sciences Graduate Program.
International Exchange Programs
University of Warsaw Program of Professional Internships
The Program for Professional Internships for Students of Final Years at the Faculty of Biology at the University of Warsaw, in partnership with the European Union Social Fund and Knowledge Education Development program enables Master's students at the University of Warsaw to complete an internship during their final year of studies to gain additional training and research experience.