Phillip I. Tarr, M.D.

Co-Leader, Pathobiology Research Unit, Department of Pediatrics
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPathobiologyMolecular Microbiology

phone: (314) 454-6173

Research Interests

Dr. Phillip Tarr is the Melvin E. Carnahan Professor of Pediatrics, and Director of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine. He co-directs the Pediatrics Pathobiology Research Unit, and is a Professor of Molecular Microbiology. He obtained his MD degree from Yale University School of Medicine in 1980, and completed clinical training in pediatrics, pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Hospital, where he remained on the faculty until 2003 when he assumed his present position. Dr. Tarr has had an abiding interest in many different aspects of enteric infections and gut microbiology, with a focus on pediatrics. His chief contributions have been in the field of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli, especially E. coli O157:H7. His work has helped delineate the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and medical management of illnesses caused by this pathogen. He has long advocated the role of accurate and thorough enteric diagnostics as a mainstay of clinical care. His current research is centered on the role of the gut microbiome in childhood development and growth. The diseases he studies include necrotizing enterocolitis, tropical enteropathy, and inflammatory bowel diseases.


  • BA, Brown University1975
  • MD, Yale University School of Medicine1980


  • Intern/Resident, University of Washington School of Medicine/Children's Orthopedic Hospital and Medical Center1980 - 1983
  • Senior Fellow, University of Washington School of Medicine1983 - 1987
  • Fellow, University of Washington School of Medicine and Children's Hospital and Medical Center 1988 - 1989

Licensure and Board Certification

  • Pediatrics - ABP 1984
  • Pediatric Gastroenterology - ABP 1992
  • MO, 2002
  • BCS 2012
  • The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) 2013
  • AR, 2016


  • American Gastroenterological Association/Blackwell Scientific Research Scholar Award1992 - 1995
  • Food and Drug Administration Commissioner's Special Citation1997 - 1997
  • Melvin E. Carnahan Professor of Pediatrics, Endowed Chair2004 - Pres

Selected Publications view all (171)

Antibiotic perturbation of the preterm infant gut microbiome and resistome. Gut Microbes. 2016;0. PMID:27472377 
Environmental Enteric Dysfunction is Associated with Poor Linear Growth and Can be Identified by Host Fecal mRNAs. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2016. doi:10.1097/MPG.0000000000001315  PMID:27347722 
Development of the gut microbiota and mucosal IgA responses in twins and gnotobiotic mice. Nature. 2016;534(7606):263-6. doi:10.1038/nature17940  PMCID:PMC4902178  PMID:27279225 
Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Infection, Antibiotics, and Risk of Developing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome: A Meta-analysis. Clin Infect Dis. 2016;62(10):1251-8. doi:10.1093/cid/ciw099  PMCID:PMC4845788  PMID:26917812 
Droplet digital PCR quantifies host inflammatory transcripts in feces reliably and reproducibly. Cell Immunol. 2016;S0008-8749(16):30016-8. doi:10.1016/j.cellimm.2016.03.007  PMID:27063479 
Gut bacteria dysbiosis and necrotising enterocolitis in very low birthweight infants: a prospective case-control study. Lancet. 2016;S0140-6736(16):00081-7. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00081-7  PMID:26969089 
Environmental Enteric Dysfunction Includes a Broad Spectrum of Inflammatory Responses and Epithelial Repair Processes. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;2(2):158-174.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jcmgh.2015.12.002  PMCID:PMC4769221  PMID:26973864 
Whole Genome Sequencing for Genomics-Guided Investigations of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Outbreaks. Front Microbiol. 2016;7:985. PMID:27446025 
Comparisons and Limitations of Current Definitions of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia for the Prematurity and Respiratory Outcomes Program. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015;12(12):1822-30. doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201504-218OC  PMCID:PMC4722827  PMID:26397992 
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