Dr. James Versalovic is Co-Chair of the International Human Microbiome Consortium, Vice Chair of Pathology + Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine and serves as Pathologist-In-Chief at Texas Children’s Hospital and Director of Texas Children’s Microbiome Center. His team is focused on the global health of children through the research of early gut development and chronic intestinal disorders among pre-adolescents.
In addition, he is Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics, Molecular Virology + Microbiology, and Pediatrics, and Co-Director of the Medical Scientist (MD/PhD) Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine, his alma mater where he also received his MD with Honors and his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology. He pursued clinical pathology and medical microbiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, as well as a postdoctoral research fellowship in Comparative Medicine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Versalovic has received several notable awards including the Lansky Award from the College of American Pathologists Foundation, the BioGaia Ivan Casas Probiotics Research Award, and the BCM Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Distinguished Alumnus Award. Applying his expertise in clinical pathology, molecular genetic pathology, and molecular diagnostics to his research, Dr. Versalovic has made groundbreaking discoveries in his investigation of Lactobacillus reuteri 6475, a probiotic which is able to generate histamine (the compound generally involved in the body’s immune response), and its ability to potentially reduce the frequency and severity of inflammation-associated colorectal cancer.
Dr. Versalovic is the author of more than 135 primary manuscripts, 34 book chapters, and 2 patents, and his research has been supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.
Hemarajata P, Spinler JK, Balderas MA, Versalovic J. “Identification of a proton-chloride antiporter (EriC) by Himar1 transposon mutagenesis in Lactobacillus reuteri and its role in histamine production.” Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek Journal of Microbiolo. 2014 March;105:579-92. Pubmed PMID: 24488273
Thomas CM, Hong T, van Pijkeren JP, Hemarajata P, Trinh DV, Hu W, Britton RA, Kalkum M, Versalovic J. “Histamine Derived from Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri Suppresses TNF via Modulation of PKA and ERK Signaling..” PLoS ONE. 2012;7(2):e31951. Pubmed PMID: 22384111
Preidis GA, Saulnier DM, Blutt SE, Mistretta TA, Riehle KP, Major AM, Venable SF, Barrish JP, Finegold MJ, Petrosino JF, Guerrant RL, Conner ME, Versalovic J. “Host response to probiotics determined by nutritional status of rotavirus-infected neonatal mice..” J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr.. 2012 September;55(3):299-307. Pubmed PMID: 22343914
Preidis GA, Saulnier DM, Blutt SE, Mistretta TA, Riehle KP, Major AM, Venable SF, Finegold MJ, Petrosino JF, Conner ME, Versalovic J. “Probiotics stimulate enterocyte migration and microbial diversity in the neonatal mouse intestine..” FASEB J.. 2012 May;26(5):1960-9. Pubmed PMID: 22267340
Preidis GA, Saulnier DM, Blutt SE, Mistretta TA, Riehle KP, Major AM, Venable SF, Finegold MJ, Petrosino JF, Conner ME, Versalovic J. “Probiotics stimulate enterocyte migration and microbial diversity in the neonatal mouse intestine..” FASEB J.. 2012 May;26(5):1960-9. Pubmed PMID: 2226734
Human Microbiome Project Consortium. “A framework for human microbiome research..” Nature. 2012;486(7402):215-221. Pubmed PMID: 22699610
Saulnier DM, Riehle K, Mistretta TA, Diaz MA, Mandal D, Raza S, Weidler EM, Qin X, Coarfa C, Milosavljevic A, Petrosino JF, Highlander S, Gibbs R, Lynch SV, Shulman RJ, Versalovic J. “Gastrointestinal microbiome signatures of pediatric patients with irritable bowel syndrome..” Gastroenterology. 2011 November;141(5):1782-91. Pubmed PMID: 21741921
Saulnier DM, Santos F, Roos S, Mistretta TA, Spinler JK, Molenaar D, Teusink B, Versalovic J. “Exploring Metabolic Pathway Reconstruction and Genome-Wide Expression Profiling in Lactobacillus reuteri to Define Functional Probiotic Features..” PLoS ONE. 2011;6(4):e18783. Pubmed PMID: 21559529