Janelle Ayres is an Associate Professor in the Nomis Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies. She earned her PhD at Stanford University in Microbiology & Immunology. Dr. Ayres works at the interface of host-microbe interactions. Her pioneering research on host-pathogen interactions is redefining our definition of health. Dr. Ayres discovered that microbes (both beneficial and pathogenic) have evolved mechanisms to promote the health of their host to promote their own survival and led to her discovery of the co-operative defense system that promotes co-operative interactions between a host and microbe rather than conflict. Promoting co-operative defenses, rather than attack, may offer novel therapeutic approaches for treating infectious diseases that are not reliant on antibiotics. She is the recipient of several awards including the Searle Scholar Award a DARPA young faculty award, a Ray Thomas Edward Faculty Award and a Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Senior Research Award.