Danielle E. Campbell, PhD, MS
Postdoctoral research associate
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
The human gut is colonized by a dense and diverse microbial community comprised primarily of bacteria and their viruses (phages). It is known that the composition of the gut microbiome and phageome varies across human health and disease states, including irritable bowel disease (IBD), an inflammatory disease characterized in part by decreased bacterial diversity and increased phage diversity. How gut phages change is not easily quantifiable, given their incredible diversity within a single host and their variability between hosts and over time. Further, the mechanisms underlying changes to the gut phageome in cases of disease are unclear: are phages a symptom or a cause of IBD?