Laurie Elizabeth Comstock
Associate Professor of Medicine
Brigham Women's Hospital
The importance of the intestinal microbiota to human health and development has been well established. There have also been numerous studies investigating the compositional changes that occur in this microbial ecosystem during various disease states. However, a major gap in our knowledge is that we still know little about how the microbial members of this ecosystem interact with each other, and how these ecological interactions scale up to generate stable, health-promoting communities. Over the last several years, the focus of our lab has been directed at understanding how the gut Bacteroidales members interact with each other in both cooperative and competitive interactions to understand how these communities are formed, stabilized, and their vulnerabilities to invading members. This seminar will focus on newly identified antagonistic factors produced by and targeted to other abundant gut Bacteroidales members, and their ecological significance within the gut microbiota.
Chatzidaki-Livanis, M, Geva-Zatorsky, Comstock LE. Bacteroides fragilis Type VI secretion systems use novel effector and immunity proteins to antagonize human gut Bacteroidales species. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2016 113(13):3627-32.
Roelofs KG, Coyne, MJ, Gentyala RR, Chatzidaki-Livanis, M, Comstock LE. Bacteroidales secreted antimicrobial proteins target surface molecules necessary for gut colonization and mediate competition in vivo. mBio. 2016 7(4) pii: e01055-16.