Developing novel phage therapies for skin infection. The skin is the first line of defense against pathogens.​ Skin not only provides a physical barrier, but is an ecosystem for commensal bacteria that outcompete pathogens for nutrients and space. These commensals are typically benign, but following a wounding event can contribute to lack of healing and persistent inflammation in chronic wounds, such diabetic foot ulcers (DFU). Thus, the human immune system maintains a careful balance between tolerance and activation against commensal microbes, and can be hindered by clinical factors such as lack of blood flow (ischemia) or infection in DFU. Work in the human skin microbiome is beginning to lay the foundation for understanding both normal and dysbiotic skin flora. Yet, research on phage, or viruses that infect bacteria, is still in its infancy. As new “superbugs” emerge despite careful antibiotic stewardship, natural phage­-based therapies may prove to be the last line of defense in clearing pathogenic bacteria. Work in our lab focuses on understanding the close interplay between bacteria and their phages, and the human immune response to microbial communities in both health and disease. Specifically, we study the interaction between phages and their bacterial hosts using metagenomics to develop phage-­based therapies to supplement existing antibiotic regimens.