Assistant Member of the Staff, Department of Microbiology
Associate Physician in Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Harvard University, A.B., 1987, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D., 2000, Biology
Harvard Medical School, M.D., 2001
The Lemon Lab uses a multi-disciplinary approach, including culture-independent molecular methods and ecological analyses, to develop an in-depth understanding of the role and dynamics of human microbiota in health and disease.
Bacteria live on us, “in” us, and on surfaces all around us. Among the common constituents of healthy upper respiratory tract microbiota are some of the most significant bacterial pathogens, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae. The carriage rate and disease burden of these pathogens is particularly high in children. The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistant clones, such as community acquired-methicillin resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA), accentuates the urgent need for new therapies to both treat and prevent these infections. Interestingly, some people do not carry either S. aureus or S. pneumoniae and are, therefore, at low risk for infection. This leads to the hypothesis that, among the constituents of nostril and throat microbiota, there are beneficial microbes that interfere with pathogen carriage. Such beneficial bacteria could be the basis for novel prophylactics/therapeutics. We use a multi-disciplinary approach to gain an in-depth understanding of the role and dynamics of human microbiota in health and disease, including culture-independent molecular methods and ecological analyses. 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.
Lemon KP, Armitage GC, Relman DA, Fischbach MA. (2012) Microbiota-targeted therapies: An ecological perspective. Review. Sci. Transl. Med. 4(137):137rv5.
Segata N, Kinder Haake S§, Mannon P§, Lemon KP§, Waldron L, Gevers D, Huttenhower C, Izard J. (2012) Composition of the adult digestive tract bacterial microbiome based on seven mouth surfaces, tonsils, throat and stool samples. Genome Biol. 13(6):R42. (§contributed equally)
The Human Microbiome Consortium (2012) Structure, Function and Diversity of the Healthy Human Microbiome. Nature.486(7402):207-14.
The Human Microbiome Consortium (2012) A framework for human microbiome research. Nature 486 (7402):215-21.
Lemon KP, Klepac-Ceraj V, Schiffer HK, Brodie EL, Lynch SV, and Kolter R. (2010) Comparative analyses of the bacterial microbiota of the human nostril and oropharynx. mBio. 1(3): e00129-10-e00129-18.
Klepac-Ceraj V, Lemon KP, Martin TR, Allgaier M, Kembel SW, Knapp AA, Lory S, Brodie EL, Lynch SV, Bohannan BJM, Green JL, Maurer BA and Kolter R. (2010) Relationship Between Cystic Fibrosis Respiratory Tract Bacterial Communities and Age, Genotype, Antibiotics and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Environmental Microbiology. 12(5):1293-1303.
Michael S. Wollenberg, Ph.D.
Lindsay Bomar, Ph.D.
Isabela Fernandez Escapa, Ph.D.
Matthew M. Ramsey, Ph.D.