Byrd Lab

Introduction

In parallel to the traditional samples, i.e. biopsies and peripheral blood, stool collections are rapidly being incorporated into clinical protocols as a means to characterize the gut microbiome. A newly appreciated biomarker for many diseases as well as therapeutic efficacy and safety, the gut microbiome collectively refers to the diverse bacteria, fungi and viruses that colonize an individual’s gastrointestinal tract. Broadly, the Byrd Lab aims to use these clinical stool samples to explore the role of microorganisms in disease development, therapeutic response, and immune system activation.

To complement clinical collections, we have been leveraging a 1,000 person healthy control population to understand which factors influence the gut microbiome in the steady state and how the gut microbiome subsequently impacts the metabolome and systemic immune responses. In parallel, we are also interested in the role of microbes locally present in tissues, e.g. colorectal tumors and gastrointestinal biopsies. To accomplish this, we are actively developing methods to reliably detect microbes in low biomass samples and then correlating those microbial signatures with clinical metadata and host gene expression patterns.

Bio Allyson Byrd
Assistant Member

Allyson Byrd, PhD

Principal Investigator, Byrd Lab; Center for Systems Immunology
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