The Harris-Tryon Laboratory bridges the fields of Immunology, Microbiology, and Metabolism and focuses on the interface between the skin surface and the community of microbes that colonize this niche. Our broad research goals are to decipher mechanisms that the skin uses to protect the host from bacterial infection and develop novel therapeutic targets for inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and hidradenitis suppurativa. We make use of a unique model system, germ free mice. These mice are derived through in vitro fertilization into an entirely sterile environment and exist without exposure to microbes. This allows our group to explore how specific bacteria and bacterial products effect skin immunity.