“The Vaginal Microbiome and Reproductive Health and Disease”
by Dr. Brenda Wilson
Carle Illinois College of Medicine
Innovation Grand Rounds
Friday, May 14, 2021
noon – 1:00 p.m. Hear from Brenda Wilson
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Reflection & Dialogue
Zoom Call-in: go.illinois.edu/innovationgrandrounds
Abundant evidence from years of intensive research have clearly demonstrated that maintaining a robust vaginal microbiota that is dominated by lactic-acid producing Lactobacillus species is critical as a first line of defense for human female reproductive health. Loss of this defense system, as what occurs with microbial dysbiosis such as bacterial vaginosis or yeast vaginitis, significantly increases the risk for sexually transmitted infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and adverse obstetric outcomes. However, a full systems-level, mechanistic understanding of how the vaginal microbiome protects reproductive health is still lacking and poses a major challenge to the development of predictive diagnostics, effective interventions, and successful restoration of a healthy protective vaginal microbiota.
Dr. Wilson will present some of the work that her laboratory and collaborators have contributed to this clinically important topic. She will share how they have applied a multi-omics approach toward this research by integrating medical microbiological and immunologic science of the vaginal microbiome with information from data science and analytical technologies such as mass spectrometry. She will also share some insights regarding technical challenges that remain with microbiome sequencing analyses.
Dr. Wilson is a professor in the Departments of Microbiology, Pathobiology, and Biomedical and Translational Sciences, and is associate director of Undergraduate Education in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at UIUC, as well as the Sandia Faculty Fellow in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation. Dr. Wilson’s research involves the role and co-evolutionary aspects of toxin-producing bacteria, extensively drug-resistant bacteria, and microbiomes in health and disease.