PI Seminar Series
Speaker: Dr Christopher J Stewart, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Venue: Baddiley Clark Seminar Room
Date: 20th June 2016
Dr Chris Stewart will present:
‘Exploring preterm gut microbiome development and host responses using multi-omic approaches’
The developing gut microbiome is highly dynamic in early life and is critical for a range of health and disease outcomes through infancy and into childhood including obesity, allergy, cardiovascular health, and cognition. In infants born preterm (<10% of all births), microbial acquisition is abnormal and affected by a complex exposome including delivery mode (e.g. C-section), environment (humidified incubators), nutritional interventions (breast milk) and frequent use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Emerging data show close associations between patterns of colonization in preterm infants and devastating diseases such as necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) and late onset sepsis (LOS). Together these key pathologies are responsible for more childhood deaths than all leukaemia and lymphoma combined, and survivors suffer significant long-term physical and cognitive morbidity. However, progress toward understanding of the basic mechanisms linking development of the gut microbiome to host responses in early life are limited.
Our research efforts have focused on comprehensively characterizing microbial and host development in preterm infants in early life. To this end we have utilized a range of powerful high-throughput technologies combining next generation sequencing, proteomics, and metabolomics. Integrated analysis from these ‘omic based techniques have demonstrated high concordance between bacterial abundance and host metabolism. We further show NEC is a disease without a clear causative microbial signature, although a community abundant in bifidobacteria may protect preterm infants from NEC and LOS. Ongoing research interests are focused on translating and validating the findings from these discovery driven experiments using novel ex vivo human intestinal enteroid models, as well as creating a bio-repository of deeply phenotyped samples collected within controlled trials for future study.
Chair: Dr Chris Lamb