Julie A. Segre, Ph. D.

Julie A. Segre, Ph. D.

National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD

Candidate for Board of Directors
Senior Investigator with tenure, Microbial Genomics Section Chief, Translational and Functional Genomics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, 20892 USA

  • B.A. (Mathematics), Amherst College 1987, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • PhD (Genetics), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995
  • Thesis Advisor: Eric Lander, PhD
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago, Advisor: Elaine Fuchs, PhD
Professional Experience:
  • 2000 - 2007 Investigator, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), NIH
  • 2007 - Present Senior Investigator with tenure, NHGRI, NIH
  • 2013 - Present Chief, Translational and Functional Genomics Branch, NHGRI, NIH
  • 2011 - 2017 Board of Trustees, Amherst College, Amherst, MA
  • 2013 - 2015 Working Group Member, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Report on Combating Antibiotic Resistance, Executive Office of President Obama
  • 2017, 2019, 2020 Organizer, Keystone and Cold Spring Harbor Microbiome meetings
  • 2017-Present Member, Executive Scientific Committee, NIAID Systems Biology and Antimicrobial Resistance
ASM Activities:
ASM member. Regular attendee at ASM Microbe annual meeting, and ASM sponsored meetings including NextGen Sequencing, ICAAC and Beneficial Microbes. Speaker and convener of multiple sessions, presented in workshops, educational forums and sessions devoted to microbiome, nosocomial infection.
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (2015).
  • Participated in AAM colloquium Applications of Clinical Microbial Next-Generation Sequencing (2016)
  • One Health: Fungal Pathogens (2019).
  • Presented the inaugural Elizabeth King ASM lecture.
  1. Grice EA, Kong HH, Segre JA (2009). Topographical and Temporal Diversity of the Human Skin Microibome. Science, 324: 1190-2.
  2. Findley K, Oh J, Kong HH*, Segre JA* (2013) Topographic diversity of fungal and bacterial communities in human skin. Nature. Jun 20; 498(7454):367-360. *co-senior authors
  3. Snitkin ES, Zelazny AM, Henderson DK, Palmore TN*, Segre JA (2012): Tracking a Hospital Outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae with Whole Genome Sequencing, Science Translational Medicine, 4(148):148ra116.
  4. Oh J, Byrd AL, Kong HH*, Segre, JA (2016) Temporal stability of the human skin microbiome. CELL May 5; 165(4): 854-866.
  5. Byrd AL, Segre JA*, Kong HH* (2017) Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis strain diversity underlying human atopic dermatitis. Science Translational Medicine 9, eaal4651.
  6. Tirosh O, Segre JA*, and Kong HH* (2018). Expanded skin virome in DOCK8-deficient patients. Nature Medicine Dec; 24(12):1815-1821.
  7. Johnson R, Lau AF*, Palmore TN*, Segre JA* (2018). Investigation of a Cluster of Sphingomonas koreensis Infections. New England Journal of Medicine Dec 27; 379(26):2529-2539.
  8. Conlan S, Lau AF, Dekker JP, Frank KM, Palmore TN, Segre JA (2019). Plasmid dissemination and selection of a multi-drug resistant K. pneumoniae during transplant-associated antibiotic chemotherapy. mBio in press
Research Interests:
Together with clinical colleagues, my research team has defined the normal human skin bacterial, fungal and viral communities, enabling studies of alterations associated with pediatric atopic dermatitis, primary immunodeficiency and emerging pathogens. My research also focused on integrating whole genome sequencing of hospital pathogens both to study nosocomial transmission and to develop a national reference database. We integrate DNA sequence technology, algorithm development and clinical studies to explore the diversity of microbes in and on humans in health and disease.

I am honored to be nominated by colleagues to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Society of Microbiology (ASM). My research uses genomic technology and analysis to understand the human skin microbiome and to track hospital outbreaks of drug resistant pathogens; this work is done in close collaboration with clinical microbiologists. I look forward to building on ASM’s strengths to nurture interactions between clinical and basic scientists, develop policies for antimicrobial stewardship and continue effective public outreach, all issues that have been central to my career thus far.
My graduate and post-doctoral training was in genomics and skin biology before I started my professional career at the National Institute of Health (NIH). Initially, my research asked the question whether the predilection of dermatologic disorders for different sites on the human body is associated with specific features of the microbiome. Our first paper (Science, 2009) revealed the topographic distribution of bacteria on different body sites, and brought an ecologic perspective to the burgeoning field of human microbiome studies. We followed with fungal (Nature 2013) and viral (Nature Medicine 2018) surveys and demonstrated the disparate forces that shape the host-microbiome interactions. Along the way, I was extremely fortunate to have microbiology colleagues who spent many hours discussing classic and modern microbial discoveries, clarifying clinical relevance of studies, and discussing challenges in the field. Through these collaborations, we developed an extensive second line of research catalyzing microbial genomic methodologies to track hospital outbreaks of multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Sphingomonas koreensis (PNAS, 2012, STM 2013, NEJM 2018). Each study relied upon collaboration with clinical microbiology colleagues/hospital epidemiologist and innovative genomic technology. I take this ethos into the future: I currently work extensively with colleagues at CDC, state and local health departments to investigate the emergence of the fungal pathogen Candida auris.
I’ve engaged in public outreach through stories developed for Science Friday (NPR), New York Times, Frontline. I’ve advocated for new antimicrobial stewardship policies through service on President Obama’s Commission of Advisors in Science and Technology. As a newly elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, I will advocate for greater integration of microbial science across disciplines. Within NIH, I serve on major committees addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, as key values for scientific communities. With my scientific interests and advocacy roles, I feel like I have found my true scientific home and community within ASM.
My primary goal if I am selected to serve as a member of the ASM board of directors is to maintain the strengths of this diverse organization and continue to nurture the interactions with its myriad partners. In particular, I would like to inspire and foster the careers of new microbiologists, stimulate innovation and technology to permeate through ASM disciplines, promote microbial interest within broader swaths of the public, and advocate for scientific based policies within society.

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