Project abstract for group galeca

Intestinal Microbiome Dynamics and Its Impact on Infant Health and Disease

The intestines of infants contain microorganisms (the “microbiome”) that are thought to play a role in the development of both health and disease. While current studies focus on the bacterial organisms that inhabit the infant intestine and their impact on intestinal health and disease, there is a relative paucity of study of another important component of the intestinal microbiome, the fungi. Indeed, fungal organisms are a major cause of life-threatening neonatal bloodstream infections and are found concurrently with high frequency in infants with devastating intestinal diseases such as necrotizing enterocolitis and intestinal perforation. This group's research aim is to learn how different types and quantities of fungi develop in the infant intestine (the “fungal microbiome”) using highly sensitive, specific, and quantitative molecular strategies. MSI resources are used for metagenomic analyses and comparisons of patient microbiomes. In this way, the researchers will establish how intestinal microbiome dynamics are associated with diseases in premature babies. 

This PI’s research was featured in an MSI Research Spotlight in April 2015.

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