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The Segre laboratory studies and understands health with the perspective that humans coexist with billions of microbiota in our guts and on our skin. It is increasingly clear that possible pathogens flourish and compete within a larger microbial community of endogenous bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Dr. Segre has been a part of the larger NIH Human Microbiome Project that developed methodologies to characterize microbial communities with genomic sequencing and analysis, offering major advantages over traditional culture-based studies. Dr. Segre's laboratory research addresses two major areas of clinical microbial genomics: foundational studies of the human skin microbiome and the tracking of hospital-associated bacterial pathogens. These studies have only been possible because of integrated collaborations with colleagues in NIAMS, NIAID, the NIH Clinical Center, and the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center. Together, these groups performed the first skin-microbiome survey, which characterized the diversity of microbes that live on normal volunteers, and determined that humans are ecosystems with niche-dependent bacterial populations (dry, moist, or oily regions). The researchers are extending these studies to patient populations with atopic dermatitis (eczema) and primary immune deficiencies. The group's expertise in microbial genomic sequencing has grown to include significant efforts to understand hospital-acquired infections, particularly outbreaks of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacterial infections.
The Annual G. Burroughs Mider Lecture, established in 1968, recognizes an NIH intramural scientist’s outstanding contributions to biomedical research and honors G. Burroughs Mider, the first director of NIH laboratories and clinics.