Michael G. Surette, PhD
Professor, Department of Medicine
Joint appointment to the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences
Canada Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Microbiome Research
Lab website: http://www.surettelab.ca
Google+: +Mike Surette
Bacteria live almost exclusively in communities with other microorganisms, and often in association with multicellular hosts. These communities are capable of maintaining complex structural and functional stability over time, and exhibit fascinating properties of resiliency in response to environmental changes. This is a result of interactions between microbes and the environment and amongst members of the community. A multitude of chemical interactions occur in microbial communities where primary and secondary metabolites contribute to a wealth of interactions between organisms. The chemicals include a variety of nutrients, toxic or neutral metabolic byproducts, antibiotics, and cell-cell signaling molecules. These chemical and physical signals mitigate microbial relationship that can be competitive, cooperative or neutral, and thus are responsible for determining community structure. In turn, the surrounding community changes the microenvironment of individual cells that respond to chemical and environmental cues in a combinatorial manner. Pathogens must contend with this complex ecology during infection. For pathogens, these other microbes are the normal microbiota of the human host (the human microbiome). The human microbiome is poorly defined and composed of thousands of organisms of which relatively few have been characterized. We are working to define the normal microbiota and to understand the role of small molecule signaling in the ecology of the normal microbiota of the human host.
One of our primary areas of research investigates the role of normal flora-pathogen interactions in health and disease in the area of respiratory infections with a focus in cystic fibrosis. A polymicrobial perspective on these infections has lead to identification of overlooked pathogens in airway disease as well as synergistic interactions between avirulent organisms and pathogens. This is a fundamentally different view of airway infections and has lead to direct benefits to patients through altered treatment strategies.
- Whitney, JC, Peterson, SB, Kim, J, Pazos, M, Verster, AJ, Radey, MC et al.. A broadly distributed toxin family mediates contact-dependent antagonism between gram-positive bacteria. Elife. 2017;6 :. doi: 10.7554/eLife.26938. PubMed PMID:28696203 .
- Acosta, N, Whelan, FJ, Somayaji, R, Poonja, A, Surette, MG, Rabin, HR et al.. The Evolving Cystic Fibrosis Microbiome: A Comparative Cohort Study Spanning Sixteen Years. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2017; :. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201609-668OC. PubMed PMID:28541746 .
- Svensson, SL, Behroozian, S, Xu, W, Surette, MG, Li, L, Davies, J et al.. Kisameet Glacial Clay: an Unexpected Source of Bacterial Diversity. MBio. 2017;8 (3):. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00590-17. PubMed PMID:28536287 PubMed Central PMC5442455.
- Pinto-Sanchez, MI, Hall, GB, Ghajar, K, Nardelli, A, Bolino, C, Lau, JT et al.. Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 Reduces Depression Scores and Alters Brain Activity: A Pilot Study in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2017;153 (2):448-459.e8. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.05.003. PubMed PMID:28483500 .
- Heirali, AA, Workentine, ML, Acosta, N, Poonja, A, Storey, DG, Somayaji, R et al.. The effects of inhaled aztreonam on the cystic fibrosis lung microbiome. Microbiome. 2017;5 (1):51. doi: 10.1186/s40168-017-0265-7. PubMed PMID:28476135 PubMed Central PMC5420135.
- Edwards, BD, Greysson-Wong, J, Somayaji, R, Waddell, B, Whelan, FJ, Storey, DG et al.. Prevalence and Outcomes of Achromobacter Species Infections in Adults with Cystic Fibrosis: a North American Cohort Study. J. Clin. Microbiol. 2017;55 (7):2074-2085. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02556-16. PubMed PMID:28446570 PubMed Central PMC5483909.
- Bernier, SP, Hum, C, Li, X, O'Toole, GA, Magarvey, NA, Surette, MG et al.. Pseudomonas aeruginosa-Derived Rhamnolipids and Other Detergents Modulate Colony Morphotype and Motility in the Burkholderia cepacia Complex. J. Bacteriol. 2017;199 (13):. doi: 10.1128/JB.00171-17. PubMed PMID:28439038 PubMed Central PMC5472820.
- Thevaranjan, N, Puchta, A, Schulz, C, Naidoo, A, Szamosi, JC, Verschoor, CP et al.. Age-Associated Microbial Dysbiosis Promotes Intestinal Permeability, Systemic Inflammation, and Macrophage Dysfunction. Cell Host Microbe. 2017;21 (4):455-466.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2017.03.002. PubMed PMID:28407483 PubMed Central PMC5392495.
- Kelly, MS, Surette, MG, Smieja, M, Pernica, JM, Rossi, L, Luinstra, K et al.. The Nasopharyngeal Microbiota of Children with Respiratory Infections in Botswana. Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J. 2017; :. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000001607. PubMed PMID:28399056 .
- Stearns, JC, Zulyniak, MA, de Souza, RJ, Campbell, NC, Fontes, M, Shaikh, M et al.. Ethnic and diet-related differences in the healthy infant microbiome. Genome Med. 2017;9 (1):32. doi: 10.1186/s13073-017-0421-5. PubMed PMID:28356137 PubMed Central PMC5372248.