Dr. Elaine Petrof
M.D., M.Sc
Dept. of Medicine, Infectious Diseases


Welcome to the Petrof Lab

My lab is interested in the study of commensal bacteria, probiotics and the products they synthesize to inhibit inflammation and various forms of colitis, and in understanding their mechanisms of action. It is hoped that these investigations will ultimately result in a better understanding of the protective role of “good” gut microbes under conditions of inflammation and stress, and lead to novel microbe-based treatment modalities for the management of inflammatory intestinal diseases.

Ongoing projects in the laboratory revolve around this long-term goal. There are several disease states of intestinal inflammation in which our lab has an interest, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a form of inflammatory colitis whose etiology is poorly understood; necrotizing enterocolitis, an inflammatory colitis of premature babies, and infectious colitis such as Salmonella colitis (i.e. food poisoning) and C.difficile colitis, a serious life-threatening illness which can occur after people take antibiotics. Different models which represent these different disease states are used in our laboratory to further investigate the protective effects of normal gut bacteria and probiotics under these different conditions, in order to better understand their mechanisms of action.

Together with our collaborators, we work towards developing new therapies to treat these diseases. An example of this is “RePOOPulate”, a “synthetic stool” mixture developed for the treatment of recurrent C.difficile infection for patients at KGH*. Our translational “bench-to-bedside” research program is committed to moving these types of microbe-based novel therapies into clinical settings to treat patients.

*http://www.microbiomejournal.com/content/1/1/3 (RePOOPulate publication)