Neonatal microbiome and necrotizing enterocolitis

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a major necroinflammatory disorder of premature infants. In this project we are attempting to use mass microbial sequencing to confirm or refute the hypothesis that members of the microbial community, or their products, play roles in the development of this sudden and often fatal disorder.

Risk factors for the development of HUS

In these efforts, we are attempting to risk-stratify children infected with E. coli O157:H7, to try to determine on pathophysiological grounds, with the assistance of clinical decision analysis, if we can identify those who will progress to renal failure. Our collaborators are at the University of Toronto, and our Emergency Department.

Microbial evolution

We work closely with investigators at the University of Maryland and the University of Muenster to identify factors that separate harmless bacteria from those that cause life-threatening gut infections.

Inflammatory bowel diseases

Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis) are common and often intractable disorders. About one-third of cases present in the second decade of life, i.e., adolescence. They can cause severe symptoms, and impair growth. We are trying to identify the microbial drivers of these disorders, and develop ways to interdict the pro-inflammatory effects of bacteria in the gut.