“Bugs as drugs: Translational microbiome research for child health”
Dr Shrish Budree
[Host: Prof Mark Nicol, HOD Div of Medical Microbiology/Member of IDM]
Shrish Budree is a South African qualified paediatric gastroenterologist with extensive experience in child health, paediatric gastrointestinal disease, nutrition, microbiome research and fecal microbiota transplantation. He is currently completing his PhD in paediatrics through the University of Cape Town, which focuses on the microbiome of children living in resource poor settings
Dr. Budree was awarded the Discovery Foundation’s, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Scholarship in 2015 which enabled him to complete a yearlong microbiome research fellowship in Professor Ramnik Xavier’s lab at MGH in Boston and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. During this time, he learned to analyze the microbiome while working on a sequencing data from a cohort of U.S. patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Thereafter, he was awarded the Hamilton Naki Clinical Research Scholarship in 2016, to continue his microbiome work in Boston. He joined a non-profit biobank based in Somerville, Massachusetts called OpenBiome, working as a senior clinical research fellow in the field of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and microbiome analysis. He has supported clinician scientist across the U.S. and internationally in designing their FMT trials, developing their research protocols and navigating the process of submitting to the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) for approval. Dr. Budree was also the medical monitor and co-investigator on two U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funded clinical trials aimed at using FMT to decolonize multidrug resistant antibiotic colonization. He was awarded young investigator awards by the American College of Gastroenterology for his academic presentations at Digestive Disease Week and by the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN).
Most recently, Dr. Budree and one of his OpenBiome colleagues, Dr. Majdi Osman were awarded funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to perform a study in South Africa aimed at investigating the safety and efficacy of FMT in children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). This study builds on seminal work done by the Gordan lab at Washington University which implicated the microbiome in the development and persistence of SAM in children. This pilot study will be conducted in collaboration with the Knight lab at the University of California, San Diego; the Alm Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); the Nicol lab, University of Cape Town (UCT); the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, UCT and OpenBiome.