As a clinical gastroenterologist and molecular biologist, he studies the specific molecular mechanisms involved in innate and adaptive immunity as well as the genetic variants associated with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Dr. Xavier is seeking a better understanding of Crohn's disease based on the soaring number of genes now known to be implicated in this immune-related disorder.
Recent findings in Dr. Xavier's laboratory have helped elucidate the role of autophagy, a cellular process that digests and recycles proteins, in the development of Crohn's disease. His team has also discovered novel immune regulatory genes involved in innate and adaptive immunity, identified innate immune pathways that sense microbial invaders, and pinpointed metabolic stress programs in immunity.
In addition, Dr. Xavier and his team are pursuing new methods to understand the relationship between microbes living in the human gut and autoimmunity and to connect these patterns back to human genetics.