Elizabeth A Grice, Ph.D.

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Associate Professor of Dermatology
Department: Dermatology

Contact information
421 Curie Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-898-3179
Fax: 215-573-2033
Lab: 215-573-1095
B.A. (Biology)
Luther College, 2001.
Ph.D. (Human Genetics)
Johns Hopkins University, 2006.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests:
Genomic and metagenomic approaches to understand cutaneous host-microbe interactions in health and disease.

host-microbe interactions, metagenomic analysis of microbial communities, diabetic ulcers, wound healing, chronic wounds, inflammatory skin disease, innate immunity and cutaneous defense

Research Description:
The skin is a formidable barrier and the first line of defense against the external environment. The skin is also host to myriad microbes (the "microbiome") including diverse communities of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and even arthropods. Our research uses an interdisciplinary approach to understand how these microbial communities coexist and interact with the host at the skin surface, in health and disease. Generally, homeostasis is maintained at the skin surface despite colonization by microbes. However, we hypothesize that disruptions in the dynamic interplay between the skin barrier, the microbiome, and the cutaneous defense response may in part be responsible for a variety of inflammatory skin disorders.

One particular area of interest in the lab is non-healing wounds, including diabetic foot ulcers and acute traumatic wounds. In one aspect of our work, we have partnered with clinicans to undertake clinical studies to delineate microbiome dynamics during wound healing and infection. In another aspect, we are genetically dissecting the role of the microbiota and the host cutaneous immune response in mouse models of impaired wound healing.

In these and other projects in the lab we employ deep sequencing of microbe-specific marker genes (i.e. the prokaryote-specific 16S ribosomal RNA gene) and bulk sequencing of microbial DNA ("metagenomics") to examine microbial community dynamics and responses to perturbation, both from a taxonomical and a functional standpoint. These approaches circumvent traditional culture-based approaches that are biased towards those microbes that grow readily under standard laboratory culture conditions.

The long-term goal of our research is to leverage our understanding of microbiome-host interactions to diagnose and treat skin disorders. The need for novel therapeutics is increasingly evident as multi-drug resistant bacterial strains continue to evade our antibiotic resources. The skin microbiome is an information-rich, readily accessible and modifiable factor. Towards fulfilling the enormous therapeutic and diagnostic potential of the skin microbiome, we are addressing fundamental, clinically relevant questions regarding host-microbe interactions at the skin surface.

Selected Publications

Zheng Qi, Bartow-McKenney Casey, Meisel Jacquelyn S, Grice Elizabeth A: HmmUFOtu: An HMM and phylogenetic placement based ultra-fast taxonomic assignment and OTU picking tool for microbiome amplicon sequencing studies. Genome Biology 19(1): 82, June 2018.

Bartow-McKenney Casey, Hannigan Geoffrey D, Horwinski Joseph, Hesketh Patrick, Horan Annamarie D, Mehta Samir, Grice Elizabeth A: The microbiota of traumatic, open fracture wounds is associated with mechanism of injury. Wound Repair and Regeneration May 2018 Notes: Epub ahead of print.

Fiala Catherine A, Abbott Linda I, Carter Cheryl D, Hillis Stephen L, Wolf Jessica S, Schuster Meghan, Dulski Rachel, Grice Elizabeth A, Rakel Barbara A, Gardner Sue E: Severe pain during wound care procedures: A cross-sectional study protocol. Journal of Advanced Nursing May 2018 Notes: Epub ahead of print.

SanMiguel Adam J, Meisel Jacquelyn S, Horwinski Joseph, Zheng Qi, Bradley Charles W, Grice Elizabeth A: Antiseptic Agents Elicit Short-Term, Personalized, and Body Site-Specific Shifts in Resident Skin Bacterial Communities. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology May 2018 Notes: epub ahead of print.

Loesche Michael A, Farahi Kamyar, Capone Kimberly, Fakharzadeh Steven, Blauvelt Andrew, Duffin Kristina Callis, DePrimo Samuel E, Muñoz-Elías Ernesto J, Brodmerkel Carrie, Dasgupta Bidisha, Chevrier Marc, Smith Kevin, Horwinski Joseph, Tyldsley Amanda, Grice Elizabeth A: Longitudinal Study of the Psoriasis-Associated Skin Microbiome during Therapy with Ustekinumab in a Randomized Phase 3b Clinical Trial. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology Mar 2018 Notes: Epub ahead of print.

Meisel Jacquelyn S, Sfyroera Georgia, Bartow-McKenney Casey, Gimblet Ciara, Bugayev Julia, Horwinski Joseph, Kim Brian, Brestoff Jonathan R, Tyldsley Amanda S, Zheng Qi, Hodkinson Brendan P, Artis David, Grice Elizabeth A: Commensal microbiota modulate gene expression in the skin. Microbiome 6(1): 20, Jan 2018.

Coughlin Carrie C, Swink Shane M, Horwinski Joseph, Sfyroera Georgia, Bugayev Julia, Grice Elizabeth A, Yan Albert C: The preadolescent acne microbiome: A prospective, randomized, pilot study investigating characterization and effects of acne therapy. Pediatric dermatology 34(6): 661-664, Nov 2017.

Gimblet Ciara, Meisel Jacquelyn S, Loesche Michael A, Cole Stephen D, Horwinski Joseph, Novais Fernanda O, Misic Ana M, Bradley Charles W, Beiting Daniel P, Rankin Shelley C, Carvalho Lucas P, Carvalho Edgar M, Scott Phillip, Grice Elizabeth A: Cutaneous Leishmaniasis Induces a Transmissible Dysbiotic Skin Microbiota that Promotes Skin Inflammation. Cell Host & Microbe 22(1): 13-24.e4, Jul 2017.

SanMiguel Adam J, Meisel Jacquelyn S, Horwinski Joseph, Zheng Qi, Grice Elizabeth A: Topical antimicrobial treatments can elicit shifts to resident skin bacterial communities and reduce colonization by Staphylococcus aureus competitors. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 61(9), Jun 2017.

Plichta Jennifer K, Gao Xiang, Lin Huaiying, Dong Qunfeng, Toh Evelyn, Nelson David E, Gamelli Richard L, Grice Elizabeth A, Radek Katherine A: Cutaneous Burn Injury Promotes Shifts in the Bacterial Microbiome in Autologous Donor Skin: Implications for Skin Grafting Outcomes. Shock 48(4): 441-448, Mar 2017.

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Last updated: 01/02/2019
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