Welcome to the Phillip Tarr lab

Our laboratory is focused on several inter-related projects. Our major effort is to determine if the microbes that populate the guts of newborn premature infants play a role in the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which is a catastrophic necroinflammatory lesion that remains 30% fatal, and affects about 7% of very low birth weight infants. We use a combination of metagenomic sequencing, statistics, and clinical data to confirm or refute associations between the acquisition of this biomass, and its specific constituents.

Second, in collaboration with Barbara Warner, MD, we are studying the effect of the newborn microbiome in monozygotic and dizygotic non-premature twins, and delineating the role of this biomass on development, and the role of genetics in the population of bacterial and viral gut communities.

We are also using our rich archive of bacteria and human materials from several prospective cohort studies to study multiple disease processes. These include host pathophysiology that underlies the progression of E. coli O157:H7 infections to the hemolytic uremic syndrome. We are also studying the cause of unexplained diarrhea, using specimens from a unique and powerful case control cohort. We maintain collaborations with microbial evolutionary geneticists to study the phylogeny of human bacterial pathogens.

Finally, we are exploring bacterial factors in childhood inflammatory bowel diseases.

Learn more about our research…