The McKenney lab works on the role of the gut microbiota and its small molecule products in resistance bacterial pathogens such as Clostridioides difficile and Enterococcus faecium. These are both opportunistic infections that often cause damage to the host following antibiotic treatment that damages the protective bacteria of the microbiota and alters the immune response. C. difficile and E. faecium are also frequently found in healthy individuals. This suggests that the microbiota and host may actively suppress damage by these pathogens, resulting in a context-dependent continuum between commensalism (no damage) and pathogenesis (damage). Elucidation of these natural damage suppression mechanisms may provide methods to target bacterial pathogens without antibiotics.
- PhD, New York University
- Postdoc, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- BS, SUNY College at Fredonia
- Microbiota in Infection and Immunity
- Clostridioides difficile and Enterococcus faecium
- Bile acid metabolism