1100 Eastlake E4-154
1. The Human Microbiome: What factors determine the constituents of the human genital tract, and how do microbial communities on mucosal surfaces impact health? We use molecular and cultivation approaches to study the ecology of human microbial communities with a focus on the common but poorly understood condition bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV is the most common cause of vaginal discharge and is associated with numerous adverse health outcomes such as HIV infection and preterm birth. Why do some women develop BV, and why are relapse rates high after antibiotic therapy? Our projects span the scale from studies of individual bacterial species interacting with cultured vaginal epithelial cells in the lab, to population studies of women and their partners exploring shifts in microbial communities in response to host physiology or behaviors.
2. Pathogen Discovery: Many microbes have not been successfully cultivated in the laboratory, and therefore molecular cultivation-independent methods are needed to detect them. We develop and deploy nucleic acid sequence-based methods for discovering novel pathogens linked to human disease. We have discovered several novel bacterial species linked with the condition bacterial vaginosis using this molecular approach. We are searching for novel pathogens in several idiopathic human diseases.
3. Molecular Diagnostics: We seek to improve the detection of known human pathogens by developing sensitive and specific diagnostic tests. These assays rely on the detection of microbial nucleic acid sequences in human tissues or body fluids. Our main focus is the use of PCR for the diagnosis of fungal infections in cancer patients, but we also develop assays for detecting other pathogen groups such as bacteria and viruses.
Copyright © 2003-2013 Molecular & Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington
Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center | University of Washington
Institute for Systems Biology | Seattle Biomed