Gustavo Caballero-Flores, Ph.D.

Research Fellow, Pathology


I received my Ph.D. from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) under the supervision of Dr. José L. Puente. My Ph.D. research focused on studying the regulation of virulence gene expression in enteric pathogens, including Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and Citrobacter rodentium. In 2016, I joined the University of Michigan (UM) to receive postdoctoral training in Dr. Gabriel Nuñez’s laboratory, a world leader in the fields of Mucosal Immunology and host-pathogen interactions. As a Postdoc at the UM, I have established a productive research line at the interface of bacterial pathogenesis and host immunity, aimed to unravel the complex host-microbial interactions in the gut, and toward a better understanding and treatment of enteric diseases.

Research Interests

My research combines techniques from Molecular Microbiology, Genomics and Immunology to study the mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis and immune response in the neonatal and adult gut, the molecular mechanisms by which the intestinal microbiota limit the expansion of enteric pathogens, and the role of mucosal immunity in protection against enteric disease. Using the C. rodentium-mouse model of infection that closely mirrors human disease by Enteropathogenic E. coli, we have demonstrated that maternal pathogen-specific IgG protects neonatal mice against enteric infection by coating the bacterium and promoting its phagocytosis by neutrophils. Current efforts are focused on deciphering the mechanisms by which the pathogen subverts the colonization resistance imposed by the gut microbiota during early infection and the effect of microbial interactions in shaping the mucosal immune responses in the gut. The studies have the potential for an impact on the understanding and/or treatment of enteric disease in highly susceptible human populations.


2015. “Early Career Scientist Meeting Grant”. Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS), The Netherlands.

2015. “LANGEBIO Award” for best Ph.D. thesis in the life sciences. National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity (LANGEBIO), Mexico.

2016. Ph.D. degree awarded with high honors. National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico.

2020. Selected attendant and travel grant for the 9th NIF-Winter School on Advanced Immunology, Japan.