Katherine P. Lemon, M.D., Ph.D.
Dept. of Microbiology, The Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, MA
Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
I am a physician-scientist trained in basic microbial research. In the Lemon Lab, we use data on microbial community composition to generate hypotheses about potential direct interactions between benign members of the bacterial microbiota in the human nose and throat and two medically important pathobionts that colonize those sites, i.e., Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. We aim to understand the mechanisms by which benign/beneficial bacteria in the upper respiratory tract impact pathobiont colonization potential and behavior. The long-term research goal of the Lemon Lab is to develop new, and sustainable, approaches to manage the composition of upper respiratory tract microbiota in order to prevent infections. We use a multi-disciplinary approach that includes bacterial genetics, molecular biology, small molecule discovery, microbial ecology and the newer -omics to gain an in-depth understanding of the role and dynamics of human microbiota in health and disease. To accomplish this, we collaborate with natural products chemists, computational biologists, other clinicians and other microbiologists. In the Lemon Lab, researchers with prior experience in diverse areas of microbial sciences apply their skills to explore human-associated microbial populations. In addition to the upper respiratory tract, members of the lab also study adjacent habitats, such as the mouth and skin.