Kristine Wylie, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Dr. Wylie’s laboratory applies innovative sequencing technologies and approaches to the study of microbes and host response. Her primary research focus is microbiome dynamics and infectious diseases during pregnancy and their association with preterm birth.
Dr. Kristine Wylie has 22 years of experience in the fields of genomics and virology. Before attending graduate school, she worked in the field of genomics and contributed to many projects including The Human Genome Project. She received her PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from St. Louis University. Her graduate work in virology focused on the study of host immune response to and interactions with herpes viruses, including herpes simplex viruses types 1 and 2, using in vitro cell culture and mouse models of infection. As a postdoctoral associate at the McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine, she merged her experience in genomics and microbiology to study the human microbiome with particular emphasis on the human virome.
She has broad experience in microbiome studies including studies of viruses in healthy, asymptomatic adults as part of the Human Microbiome Project, viruses in children with unexplained fever, novel bacterial taxa, bacterial communities in children with cystic fibrosis, pathogen detection in clinical samples, and many others. Her sequence-based analysis of the human virome was noted when the Human Microbiome Project was distinguished as the NHGRI Genome Advance of the Month in July 2012. In order to improve the sensitivity of metagenomic shotgun sequencing for virus analysis, she and her colleagues developed ViroCap, a targeted sequence capture panel that enriches a comprehensive set of eukaryotic viruses. ViroCap is a game-changer for virome analysis, allowing detection of very low abundance viruses and improving genome coverage for comparative analysis.
As faculty in the Department of Pediatrics and at the McDonnell Genome Institute, Dr. Wylie’s laboratory applies innovative sequencing technologies and approaches to the study of microbes and host response. This work is coupled with in vitro studies aimed at uncovering the underlying mechanisms of microbe-host dynamics. Dr. Wylie’s primary research focus is microbiome dynamics and infectious diseases during pregnancy and their association with preterm birth.