Position title: Assistant Professor of Medical Microbiology & Immunology
One major focus of my research is to investigate the polymicrobial environment of chronic non-healing wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers (DFU). These types of wounds affect tens of millions of people, are estimated to cost up $95B per year, and have mortality rates >50%. I am trying to understand how, at the community level, microbes elicit host responses with negative consequences, such as impaired wound healing and limb amputation. To do this my laboratory combines traditional microbiological approaches with cutting edge high-throughput sequencing and computational modelling to understand the impact of disease progression and perturbation on bacterial and fungal species associated with wound healing outcomes. In my research I utilize human clinical specimens, in vitro experiments, and animal models to probe microbial community dynamics, resistance to treatment, and host immune responses. With translational bioinformatics we model the associations of host responses to the microbiome, and in response to treatments, that could lead us to make significant advancements in the treatment of DFU. Ultimately, we hope to identify biological markers we can use to predict wound healing trajectories, significantly reducing healing times to improve quality of life for millions of individuals.