Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division

Microbiome of Humans

On a cellular basis, microorganisms outnumber human cells ten to one, and many scientists emphasize the importance of including these microbial cells and their genes when considering the genetic machinery available in our bodies. Indeed, the human body can be considered a “super-organism” or composite of human and microbial cells. The microbial communities that populate human tissue surfaces can vary greatly between individuals. Even different regions of the same organ (such as skin) can have very different microbial profiles. These microbes and their genes (the microbiome) can be seen as a modifiable environmental or genetic factor that influences human health. Recent advances in biomedical technologies, such as high throughput sequencing, have opened the door to truly characterizing these previously unseen effects on human health.


Affiliate Assistant Professor, Biostatistics, University of Washington
Statistical and computational methods for bioinformatics applications, statistical modeling for genome sequence analysis and statistical modeling frameworks. The interface between computer science, statistics, and molecular biologyand such as development of new informatics methods in genomics and post-genomics
Phone: (206) 667-4086
Fax: (206) 667-4378
Professor, Medicine, University of Washington
Adjunct Associate Professor, Microbiology, University of Washington
Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program, University of Washington
Determining how changes in microbial communities impact human health; identifying, characterizing, and culturing microbes found in the human genital tract; and associating the reproductive tract microbiome with human disease. Developing molecular diagnostic tests to detect and identify pathogens in immunocompromised hosts such as cancer patients.
Phone: (206) 667-1935
Fax: (206) 667-4411
Assistant Member, Clinical Research Division
Assistant Professor, Medicine, University of Washington
Study Physician, UW Virology Research Clinic, University of Washington
Interest in describing the quantitative and dynamical features of human pathogens and immune responses. Most of work to-date is on the pathogenesis of HSV-2 infection but also interested in applying models to optimize viral eradication startegies, and to use models to capture kinetic features of the human microbiome.