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Assistant Professor
Pediatric Infectious Diseases


Dr. Hood Pishchany’s research focuses on microbial ecology in the vaginal microbiome. The scientific and medical communities have gained increasing understanding of the vast populations of microbes living in and on the human body, and the potential roles for these microbes in health and disease. The vaginal microbiome is associated with a number of important health outcomes in women and their offspring, impacting risk for sexually transmitted infections, like HIV, and risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, like preterm birth.

The overarching goal of Dr. Hood Pishchany’s research program is to understand how microbial communities in the vagina are established, what makes these communities stable or unstable, and how they interact with the host to influence health outcomes. To achieve this goal, she is developing methods for cultivation and genetic manipulation of dozens of unique species of vaginal bacteria, including development of innovative methods to grow complex bacterial communities outside of the body. Her work applies experimental evolution and ecological principles to understand how bacteria adapt to conditions in the vagina, and how they interact with each other. By better understanding the individual microbes of the vaginal microbiota, and how these individual microbes interact, it may be possible to design therapies that target the microbiome to improve the health of women and their infants.

Indriati Hood Pishchany, MD, PhD