Current Research and Scholarly Interests
My research involves high throughput anaerobic culture of gut microbes to generate complex defined microbial communities. These synthetic microbiomes have genetic content, metabolic output, and immunologic effect that is comparable to existing native human gut microbiomes. Moreover these synthetic communities allow for precise control of species and abundance and the opportunity for disease-specific research and therapy.
Currently I am designing and investigating the biological effects of various synthetic communities on recurrent C. difficile colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). My research entails engraftment of various synthetic communities in germ free mouse models of IBD (IL 10 deficient and DSS) and NAFLD (FDD fibrosis) to identify microbes that are important for disease modification.