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Joseph H. Skalski, M.D., studies how the microbiota (particularly fungal organisms) influence lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Imbalances of the microbiota are increasingly recognized to play a role in the development and progression of disease. Dr. Skalski uses nonculture-based DNA sequencing techniques to study the microbiota, which generates a more complete profile of microorganisms and their relative distribution compared with traditional culture techniques.
Researchers are just beginning to understand how alterations of the microbiota can influence the onset and severity of respiratory diseases. Dr. Skalski hopes that the development of better tools to profile the microbiome, combined with an enhanced understanding of harmful and beneficial microbial patterns, will lead to more personalized and individualized therapies for patients with lung disease.
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