Tarr Lab

Our laboratory is focused on several inter-related projects. Our major effort is to determine if the microbes that populate the guts of newborn premature infants play a role in the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which is a catastrophic necroinflammatory lesion that remains 30% fatal, and affects about 7% of very low birth weight infants. We use a combination of metagenomic sequencing, statistics, and clinical data to confirm or refute associations between the acquisition of this biomass, and its specific constituents. Second, in collaboration with Dr. Barbara Warner, we are studying the effect of the newborn microbiome in monozygotic and dizygotic non-premature twins, and delineating the role of this biomass on development, and the role of genetics in the population of bacterial and viral gut communities. We are also using our rich archive of bacteria and human materials from several prospective cohort studies to study multiple disease processes. These include host pathophysiology that underlies the progression of E. coli O157:H7 infections to the hemolytic uremic syndrome. We are also studying the cause of unexplained diarrhea, using specimens from a unique and powerful case control cohort. We maintain collaborations with microbial evolutionary geneticists to study the phylogeny of human bacterial pathogens. Finally, we are exploring bacterial factors in childhood inflammatory bowel diseases.

The research group relocated to Washington University in 2003 from Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center and the University of Washington, both in Seattle, where Dr. Tarr had a laboratory since 1989. The laboratory consists of Dr. Phillip Tarr, M.D., Barbara Warner, M.D., (Neonatologist and co-investigator), Nurmohammad Shaikh, Ph.D., Carla Hall-Moore (Laboratory Supervisor), I. Malick Ndao, M.D., (Scientific Program Manager), Colleen Rouggly-Nickless (Research Technician II), Brigida Rusconi, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Trainee, and Michael Carl, M.D., pediatric resident.


Contact Information

Office Phone: 314-286-2848
Office Fax: 314-286-2895
Lab Phone: 314-286-2859
E-mail (Dr. Tarr): tarr@kids.wustl.edu (Dr. Shaikh): shaikh_n@kids.wustl.edu

Office Location:

6105 McDonnell Pediatric Research Building

Mailing Address:

Department of Pediatrics
Washington University School of Medicine
Campus Box 8208
660 South Euclid Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110

Shipping Address:

Department of Pediatrics
Washington University School of Medicine
McDonnell Pediatric Research Building, 6th Floor
4938 Parkview Place
St. Louis, MO 63110