Engineering the human skin microbiome to treat diseases and prevent infections.
I've brought my background in synthetic biology to the Oh Lab with the aspiration to leverage the human microbiome (the bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microbes that live on us) to promote health, prevent infections, and treat diseases. Here I have been engineering Staphylococcus epidermidis, a ubiquitous skin commensal, to detect and kill pathogens, as well as secrete therapeutics. Additionally, I have been conducting a sizable clinical metagenome study investigating the relationship between aging, health, and the microbiome. This study should help us understand how we can leverage the microbiome to promote healthy aging, combat chronic illnesses, and prevent infections commonly acquired by older adults in healthcare settings. Finally, I have been exploring the use of human skin explants and stem cell derived skin “organoids” to model human skin microbiome interactions. This will allow us and others to test engineered skin microbiome therapeutics, and better identify mechanisms by which the skin microbiome modulates health and disease.
Adv: Julia Oh
University of Connecticut College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources
Adv: Paulo Verardi
University of Connecticut College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
B.S. Molecular and Cell Biology
Oh Lab, The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine
Verardi Lab, University of Connecticut
St. Vincent's Hospital, Bridgeport, CT
Harbor River Watch, Earthplace, Wilton, CT