Congratulation to Dr. Jennifer Munley!

photo of Dr. Munley

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that our colleague, Dr. Jennifer Munley, has been selected by the Program Committee of the American Surgical Association (ASA) to present her paper titled “Persistence and Sexual Dimorphism of the Pathobiome after Sepsis and Trauma” at the upcoming 144th ASA Annual Meeting.

Dr. Dr. Munley’s dedication and outstanding contributions within her field of study have led to this well-deserved recognition, and we couldn’t be more proud of her achievement. This honor not only reflects her individual excellence but also showcases the high caliber of research emanating from the SCIRC program.


Sepsis and trauma have each been shown to induce an intestinal “pathobiome” phenotype characterized by depleted diversity and dominance of opportunistic pathogens. However, the persistence, magnitude and perturbations of this ‘gut dysbiosis’ and its related plasma metabolome after severe injury versus severe infection remain unknown. A prospective observational cohort study using stool and plasma samples from severe sepsis and trauma patients was conducted with samples collected 2-3 weeks after initial insult. Patients in the sepsis and trauma cohorts demonstrated strikingly depleted gut microbiome diversity, with a loss of commensal bacteria and blooms of pathogenic bacteria compared to healthy subjects. Notably, sepsis patients exhibited the lowest alpha-diversity between all cohorts. Subgroup analyses based on sex revealed resistance to changes in microbiome diversity among female trauma patients compared to healthy counterparts. Furthermore, sex-specific changes in microbiome diversity among female trauma patients were observed, along with sex-specific changes in fecal metabolites after trauma or sepsis. Plasma metabolites also changed after trauma and sepsis and unique correlations between intestinal microbes and gut-plasma metabolites were identified in both sepsis and trauma cohorts. Dysbiosis induced by trauma and sepsis persists weeks after onset and is both sex- and insult-specific. This pathobiome and entero-septic microbial-metabolite perturbations are potentially modifiable elements. Sexual dimorphism in the resilience of the host microbiome in females highlights the need for including sex as a variable in the treatment of sepsis and trauma patients.

To learn more about Dr. Munley’s research, please visit: .