Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Henry Hsia


Prior studies have shown that the bacteria that normally colonize the skin play a role in innate immunity. Such findings prompted exploration into the role of the skin microbiome in wound healing, as all wounds are colonized by bacteria, even those not actively infected. While the research in this area is sparse, most studies have used chronic wound models, finding that a more diverse wound environment is correlated with better healing. Using genomic sequencing targeted to the V1-V3 hypervariable regions of bacterial 16S rRNA, we sought to further characterize the microbiome of both acute and chronic wounds. We also sought out to assess whether the microbial composition of wounds correlates to overall healing potential. While data collection and analysis is ongoing, we have successfully used skin swabs to assess patient’s skin microbial composition and have found that there are shifts that occur in the skin microbiome as a result of skin sterilization that occurs in preparation for surgery.


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