Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

James Versalovic M.D. Ph.D.

James Versalovic, M.D., Ph.D.

James Versalovic, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Affiliate Member
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
Director, Microbiome Center
Texas Children’s Hospital
Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics
Professor of Molecular Virology & Microbiology
Head, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Section
Baylor College of Medicine

Phone: 832-824-4330
Fax: 832-825-4347
E-mail: jamesv@bcm.edu


B.A.   The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
M.D   Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Ph.D.   Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (Cellular and Molecular Biology)

Postdoctoral Training

Digestive Diseases Research Fellowship, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Clinical Pathology Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Pathology Clinical Fellowship, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Comparative Medicine Fellowship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA



After completion of his postdoctoral training, Dr. Versalovic remained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA as a Research Scientist in the Division of Comparative Medicine. During that time, he also held an appointment as an Assistant Professor of Pathology at the Harvard Medical School. In 2001, he joined the faculty at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas as an Assistant Professor in both the Department of Pathology and Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology. He also received additional appointments there as an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics in 2005, and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in 2008. All of these appointments were promoted to full professorships in 2009. Dr. Versalovic also co-directs the Medical Scientist (M.D./Ph.D.) Training Program and the Functional Genomics and Proteomics Core at the NIH-funded Texas Medical Center Digestive Diseases Center, both at Baylor. His research accomplishments have been impressive; he has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on 7 NIH grants, 4 of which are ongoing. Dr. Versalovic has published extensively in the medical literature and has been an associate editor for the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Gut Microbes.

Description of Research

Dr. Versalovic’s research is in the area of bacterial pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions, especially as they relate to diseases and disorders of the intestinal microbiome. With funding from the NIH and Department of Defense, he has conducted numerous studies to identify and develop probiotics for the treatment of inflammatory disorders and diseases such as Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and infections of the gut from pathogenic bacteria. Using whole genomic and comparative proteomic approaches, he has identified various antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory factors for Lactobacillus reuteri, as well as immunomodulatory factors from novel human-derived strains of Lactobacillus saerimneri and ruminis. His current studies also include bench and preclinical research with probiotic Lactobacillus to further elucidate the properties of its biofilms and identify potential uses in disease management and/or prevention.

Major Areas of Research

Bacterial pathogenesis, host-pathogen interactions, microbiome, genomics, proteomics, biofilms.

Recent Publications

Hulten KG, Kaplan SL, Lamberth LB, Slimp K, Hammerman WA, Carrillo-Marquez M, Starke JR, Versalovic J, Mason EO Jr. Hospital-acquired Staphylococcus aureus infections at Texas Children’s Hospital, 2001-2007. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010 Feb;31(2):183-90.

Venkatesh M, Rong L, Raad I, Versalovic J. Novel synergistic antibiofilm combinations for salvage of infected catheters. J Med Microbiol. 2009 Jul;58(Pt 7):936-44.

Preidis GA, Versalovic J. Targeting the human microbiome with antibiotics, probiotics, and prebiotics: gastroenterology enters the metagenomics era. Gastroenterology. 2009 May;136(6):2015-31.

Mason EO, Lamberth LB, Hammerman WA, Hulten KG, Versalovic J, Kaplan SL. Vancomycin MICs for Staphylococcus aureus vary by detection method and have subtly increased in a pediatric population since 2005. J Clin Microbiol. 2009 Jun;47(6):1628-30.

Versalovic J. Arrays and medical microbiology: e pluribus unum. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2009 Apr;133(4):537-41.