Nicole Iovine, MD, PhD, is trained as both an Infectious Disease specialist and as an expert in innate defense against bacterial infection, with a focus on Gram-negative organisms. As an Infectious Disease specialist, she is particularly interested in treatment approaches to multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections. As a researcher, she studies the innate defenses against these types of infections. She has studied Bactericidal/Permeability-Increasing protein (BPI) - an endogenous antibiotic found in neutrophils and available in recombinant form. BPI has potent activity against Gram-negative bacteria, including multidrug-resistant clinical isolates she collects.
Dr. Iovine has a 3-year grant from the Bankhead-Coley Research Council entitled "The Role of Smoking in the Promotion of Crohn's Disease: A Predisposing Factor to Colon Cancer." The study population consists of Crohn's Disease patients who are seen in the GI clinic at UF and who have been genotyped for the major Crohn's Disease polymorphisms as part of a separate study. In the first part of the study, she is performing chart reviews of these patients to score their disease severity. This scoring system includes smoking status and the data are analyzed based on that variable as well as their genotypes. In the second part of the study, monocyte-derived macrophages from these patients will be assessed for their ability to kill enteric bacteria and elicit pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Dr. Iovine has expertise in the area of Campylobacter jejune pathogenesis and studies the role of innate immune mechanisms including reactive nitrogen species, BPI and most recently, autophagy in host defense against C. jejuni infection.