Dr. Diya Binoy Joseph’s laboratory in the Centre for Inflammation and Tissue Homeostasis at inStem studies epithelial defenses employed by the urinary tract in fighting against infections. Lower urinary tract infections caused by pathogenic bacteria, mostly E. coli, pose a significant healthcare burden. The rampant use of antibiotics has led to the emergence of multi-drug resistant strains that are hard to eliminate. As part of the DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance Early career fellowship, Diya will study the role of the urethra in defending against urinary tract infections. Epithelial cells lining the urethra express genes involved in antimicrobial defense and immunomodulation. Diya will study how these cells are primed to express these defense genes and how these defenses can be further activated during an infection. She will use in vitro culture models of primary cells grown in 3D cultures as well as transgenic mice to address these questions. Diya joined inStem in January 2022 and is in the process of establishing her research program. For more details please visit her lab page: https://instem.res.in/faculty/diya