Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) is an emerging antibiotic-resistant pathogen. Strain-level investigations are beginning to reveal the molecular mechanisms used by VREfm to colonise regions of the human bowel. However, the role commensal bacteria during VREfm colonisation remains largely unknown. In this talk, I will describe how we employed integrative 16S rRNA gene sequencing and untargeted metabolomics in a murine model system to investigate functional roles of the gut microbiome during VREfm colonisation.
Research Fellow, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Andre is a NOMIS Center Postdoctoral Fellow in Janelle Ayres’ Lab at the Salk Institute. He obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Melbourne in interdisciplinary sciences and conducted his first postdoctoral research at the Doherty Institute. There, Andre was awarded competitive fellowships to train at the University of Calgary to understand how environmental microbial communities respond to anthropogenic perturbation using metagenomics, and at the University of California San Diego to investigate how the trillions of microbes in our gut interact with drug-resistant bacterial pathogens using integrative microbiome and metabolomic approaches.
Andre’s current research is supported by the NOMIS Foundation and will address why some patients develop severe illness while others seem to have no symptoms of disease despite the pathogens’ ability to infect, replicate, and transmit. Using his expertise as a microbial ecologist and computational biologist, Andre aims to determine the compositional structure of gut microbiomes before and during infectious diseases in order to identify signature microbiome-markers that may predispose a person to acquiring infections; such biomarkers could help predict someone’s health outcomes after infection.