School of Medicine

Microbial Genomics Resource Group

The Microbial Genomics Resource Group (MGRG) within the LSU Health Sciences Center School of Medicine operates in a highly collaborative fashion. Our mission is to promote genomics-based research involving microbial communities as well as specific microorganisms and we function as a School of Medicine research resource. While our primary desire is to interact with other researchers in a collaborative fashion to assist with study design, assay development, molecular biology, analysis and interpretation to ensure successful projects, the MGRG provides technical services on a fee-for-service basis as well. Technical resources include Illumina MiSeq sequencing-by-synthesis for 16S based phylogenetic and metatranscriptomic analyses. Our facility is fully equipped and staffed to be able to accept either raw clinical samples or isolated nucleic acids, perform rDNA PCR, and prepare the sequencing libraries. We also have the expertise to perform bioinformatics analysis and data visualization.


Chris Taylor, PhD

Bioinformatics Director
Microbiome Visualization

David Welsh, MD

Associate Professor
Project Design

Meng Luo, PhD

Molecular Biology

Vince Maffei, BS

MD/PhD Student
Microbiome Analysis

Derrick Samuelson, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher
Model Organisms

Gene Blanchard, BS

Bioinformatics Analyst


  • In August 2017, Dr. Taylor was awarded a Multi-PI R01 from NIH/NIAID with Drs. Alison Quayle and Ashok Aiyar to study the consequences of vaginal microbiota on clearance of Chlamydia in a cohort of subjects recruited from the New Orleans metro area (1R01AI118860-01A1).

  • In August 2017, Dr. Welsh was awarded a UH2 from NIH/NIAAA to study precision medicine approaches for alcohol and HIV-associated dysbiosis, immune activation, and cardiometabolic syndrome (1UH2AA026226-01).

  • In July 2016, Dr. Taylor was appointed as the Director of the Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, and Computational Biology Core of the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network. In this role he will lead the training and support of researchers throughout the Louisiana State University system in computational analysis of biomedical data.

  • In January 2015, Dr. Taylor was selected as the winner of $5,000 of Illumina sequencing regents in Illumina’s MiSeq My Focus contest. His entry described recent work in the MGRG exploring microbial diversity in the gastrointestinal tract, urogenital tract, airways and hospital environments. This research spotlight is featured on Illumina’s iCommunity newsletter portal.


CD Obesity-Prone Rats, but not Obesity-Resistant Rats, Robustly Ferment Resistant Starch Without Increased Weight or Fat Accretion

Obanda D, Page R, Guice J, Raggio AM, Husseneder C, Marx B, Stout RW, Welsh DA, Taylor CM, Luo M, Blanchard EE, Bendiks Z, Coulon D, Keenan MJ
Obesity © 2018

The Respiratory Tract Microbial Biogeography in Alcohol Use Disorder

Samuelson DR, Burnham EL, Maffei VJ, Vandivier RW, Blanchard EE, Shellito JE, Luo M, Taylor CM, Welsh DA
American Journal of Physiology © 2018

Changes in the Gut Microbial Communities Following Addition of Walnuts to the Diet

Byerley LO, Samuelson D, Blanchard E 4th, Luo M, Lorenzen BN, Banks S, Ponder MA, Welsh DA, Taylor CM
Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry © 2017

Alcohol-Associated Intestinal Dysbiosis Impairs Pulmonary Host Defense Against Klebsiella Pneumoniae

Samuelson DR, Shellito JE, Maffei VJ, Tague ED, Campagna SR, Blanchard EE, Luo M, Taylor CM, Ronis MJJ, Molina PE, Welsh DA
PLoS Pathogens © 2017

Biological Aging And The Human Gut Microbiota

Maffei VJ, Kim S, Blanchard E 4th, Luo M, Jazwinski SM, Taylor CM, Welsh DA
The Journals of Gerontology © 2017

Obese ZDF Rats Fermented Resistant Starch With Effects On Gut Microbiota But No Reduction In Abdominal Fat

Goldsmith F, Guice J, Page R, Welsh DA, Taylor CM, Blanchard EE, Luo M, Raggio AM, Stout RW, Carvajal-Aldaz D, Gaither A, Pelkman C, Ye J, Martin RJ, Geaghan J, Durham HA, Coulon D, Keenan MJ
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research © 2016

Resetting Microbiota By Lactobacillus Reuteri Inhibits T Reg Deficiency-Induced Autoimmunity Via Adenosine A2A Receptors

He B, Hoang TK, Wang T, Ferris M, Taylor CM, Tian X, Luo M, Tran DQ, Zhou J, Tatevian N, Luo F, Molina JG, Blackburn MR, Gomez TH, Roos S, Rhoads JM, Liu Y
Journal of Experimental Medicine © 2016

Analysis Of The Intestinal Microbial Community And Inferred Functional Capacities During The Host Response To Pneumocystis Pneumonia

Samuelson DR, Charles TP, de la Rua NM, Taylor CM, Blanchard EE, Luo M, Shellito JE, Welsh DA
Experimental Lung Research © 2016

Intestinal Microbiota In Pediatric Patients With End Stage Renal Disease: A Midwest Pediatric Nephrology Consortium Study

Crespo-Salgado J, Vehaskari VM, Stewart T, Ferris M, Zhang Q, Wang G, Blanchard EE, Taylor CM, Kallash M, Greenbaum LA, Aviles DH
Microbiome © 2016

Bacterial Communities In Penile Skin, Male Urethra, And Vaginas Of Heterosexual Couples With And Without Bacterial Vaginosis

Zozaya M, Ferris MJ, Siren JD, Lillis R, Myers L, Nsuami MJ, Eren AM, Brown J, Taylor CM, Martin DH
Microbiome © 2016

Oral Immunization Of Mice With Live Pneumocystis Murina protects Against Pneumocystis Pneumonia

Samuelson DR, de la Rua NM, Charles TP, Ruan S, Taylor CM, Blanchard EE, Luo M, Ramsay AJ, Shellito JE, Welsh DA
Journal of Immunology © 2016

Obese-Type Gut Microbiota Induce Neurobehavioral Changes In The Absence Of Obesity

Bruce-Keller AJ, Salbaum JM, Luo M, Blanchard E 4th, Taylor CM, Welsh DA, Berthoud HR
Biological Psychiatry © 2015

Bacterial Diversity And Clostridia Abundance Decrease With Increasing Severity Of Necrotizing Enterocolitis

McMurtry VE, Gupta RW, Tran L, Blanchard EE 4th, Penn D, Taylor CM, Ferris MJ
Microbiome © 2015

Microbial Contamination In Next Generation Sequencing: Implications For Sequence-Based Analysis Of Clinical Samples

Strong MJ, Xu G, Morici L, Splinter Bon-Durant S, Baddoo M, Lin Z, Fewell C, Taylor CM, Flemington EK
PLoS Pathogens © 2014

Artemisia Supplementation Differentially Affects The Mucosal And Luminal Ileal Microbiota Of Diet-Induced Obese Mice

Wicks S, Taylor CM, Luo M, Blanchard E 4th, Ribnicky DM, Cefalu WT, Mynatt RL, Welsh DA
Nutrition © 2014

Histamine-2 Receptor Blockers Alter The Fecal Microbiota In Premature Infants

Gupta RW, Tran L, Norori J, Ferris MJ, Eren AM, Taylor CM, Dowd SE, Penn D
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition © 2013


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