The intestinal microbiota (microbiome) is a critical organ that helps develop and maintain host digestion, development, and immunity. Imbalances in the microbiome can compromise host homeostasis leaving an individual susceptible to a variety of diseases and infections including recurrent Clostridium difficile infection, inflammatory bowel diseases, obesity, and cancers. While a "healthy" microbiome cannot be definitively identified due to a high degree of interpersonal variability, specific signatures e.g., specific groups of organisms, reduced diversity, etc. have been linked to the onset and progression of various pathologies. This group's research focus is to identify these patterns and explore how ecological shifts in the host microbiome impact pathology. Their primary aims are to understand how and why changes in the microbiome impact disease and to determine how these shifts can be prevented or corrected through targeted microbiota-based interventions.
This group's research was featured on the MSI website in June 2019: Fighting Side Effects in Treatment for Acute Leukemia.