Katherine P. Lemon, MD, PhD
|Hospital Title||Associate Physician in Medicine|
|Academic Title||Assistant Professor of Pediatrics|
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston MA 02115
Dr. Lemon 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. Dr. Lemon uses 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. Dr. Lemon's long-term research goal is to develop new, and sustainable, approaches to manage the composition of upper respiratory tract microbiota in order to prevent infections.
About Katherine Lemon
Katherine Lemon received her Ph.D. in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed her pediatric residency and a fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Boston Children's Hospital. Her post-doctoral research was mentored by Dr. Roberto Kolter at Harvard Medical School. She has studied the molecular mechanisms of Listeria monocytogenes biofilm formation, an important source of food contamination and infection. Building on this experience and her clinical expertise in infectious diseases, her research now focuses on exploring the bacterial microbiota of the human upper respiratory tract, an environment that supports complex multi-species biofilms. Dr. Lemon's research is based at the Forsyth Institute, also affiliated with the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
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.
Lemon KP, Freitag N, Kolter R. (2010) The virulence regulator PrfA positively affects Listeria monocytogenes biofilm formation. J. Bacteriology. 192(15):3969-76.
- Lemon KP, Higgins DE, Kolter R. Flagellar Motility Is Critical for Listeria monocytogenes Biofilm Formation. J Bacteriol. 2007;189(12):4418-24.