Alison Simmons trained in gastroenterology in London, Cambridge and Oxford, UK. She is currently Professor of Gastroenterology and Honorary Consultant Gastroenterologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. Her research focuses on mechanisms of innate immune sensing in infection and inflammation. She has defined functions for NOD2 in autophagy induction and immunoregulation that are defective in Crohn’s disease. More recently she has used single-cell technologies to chart intestinal cell heterogeneity and behavior through colitis disease course in mouse and man. This is providing new avenues for analysis of host commensal mutualism in the intestine but also for stratification and drug discovery in IBD.