Not found

James Versalovic, MD,PhD

Full Affiliate Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


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.

Areas Of Expertise

Bacterial pathogenesis Host-pathogen interactions Microbiome Genomics Proteomics Biofilms
Education & Training

, Baylor College of Medicine
, Harvard Medical School
, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The mucosal microbiota in a young child with severe non- Helicobacter gastritis
Preidis, GA, Luna, RA, Hollister, EB, Schady, D, Gao, C, Finegold, MJ, Versalovic, J & Shulman, RJ 2016, Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, vol 9, no. 5, pp. 749-751. DOI:

Composition and function of the pediatric colonic mucosal microbiome in untreated patients with ulcerative colitis
Shah, R, Cope, JL, Nagy-Szakal, D, Dowd, S, Versalovic, J, Hollister, EB & Kellermayer, R 2016, Gut Microbes, pp. 1-13. DOI:

Transfer of viral communities between human individuals during fecal microbiota transplantation
Chehoud, C, Dryga, A, Hwang, Y, Nagy-Szakal, D, Hollister, EB, Luna, RA, Versalovic, J, Kellermayer, R & Bushman, FD 2016, mBio, vol 7, no. 2, e00322-16. DOI:

Colonic Mucosal Epigenome and Microbiome Development in Children and Adolescents
Harris, RA, Shah, R, Hollister, EB, Tronstad, RR, Hovdenak, N, Szigeti, R, Versalovic, J & Kellermayer, R 2016, Journal of Immunology Research, vol 2016, 9170162. DOI:

FolC2-mediated folate metabolism contributes to suppression of inflammation by probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri
Thomas, CM, Saulnier, DMA, Spinler, JK, Hemarajata, P, Gao, C, Jones, SE, Grimm, A, Balderas, MA, Burstein, MD, Morra, C, Roeth, D, Kalkum, M & Versalovic, J 2016, MicrobiologyOpen. DOI:

GABA-producing Bifidobacterium dentium modulates visceral sensitivity in the intestine
Pokusaeva, K, Johnson, C, Luk, B, Uribe, G, Fu, Y, Oezguen, N, Matsunami, RK, Lugo, M, Major, A, Mori-Akiyama, Y, Hollister, EB, Dann, SM, Shi, XZ, Engler, DA, Savidge, T & Versalovic, J 2016, Neurogastroenterology and Motility. DOI:

Histamine H2 receptor-mediated suppression of intestinal inflammation by probiotic lactobacillus reuteri
Gao, C, Major, A, Rendon, D, Lugo, M, Jackson, V, Shi, Z, Mori-Akiyama, Y & Versalovic, J 2015, mBio, vol 6, no. 6, e01358-15. DOI:

Randomised clinical trial: gut microbiome biomarkers are associated with clinical response to a low FODMAP diet in children with the irritable bowel syndrome
Chumpitazi, BP, Cope, JL, Hollister, EB, Tsai, CM, McMeans, AR, Luna, RA, Versalovic, J & Shulman, RJ 2015, Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, vol 42, no. 4, pp. 418-427. DOI:

The preterm placental microbiome varies in association with excess maternal gestational weight gain
Antony, KM, Ma, J, Mitchell, KB, Racusin, DA, Versalovic, J & Aagaard, K 2015, American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, vol 212, no. 5. DOI:

Serial fecal microbiota transplantation alters mucosal gene expression in pediatric ulcerative colitis
Kellermayer, R, Nagy-Szakal, D, Harris, RA, Luna, RA, Pitashny, M, Schady, D, Mir, SAV, Lopez, ME, Gilger, MA, Belmont, J, Hollister, EB & Versalovic, J 2015, American Journal of Gastroenterology, vol 110, no. 4, pp. 604-606. DOI:

Luminal conversion and immunoregulation by probiotics
Ganesh, BP & Versalovic, J 2015, Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol 6, no. NOV, 277. DOI:

The Human Microbiome of Local Body Sites and Their Unique Biology
Aagaard, K, Luna, RA & Versalovic, J 2014, . in Mandell, Douglas, and Bennetts Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. vol. 1, Elsevier Inc. pp. 11-18. DOI:

Polymicrobial bloodstream infections in the neonatal intensive care unit are associated with increased mortality: A case-control study
Pammi, M, Zhong, D, Johnson, Y, Revell, P & Versalovic, J 2014, BMC Infectious Diseases, vol 14, no. 1, 390. DOI:

Lactobacillus rhamnosus L34 and Lactobacillus casei L39 suppress Clostridium difficile-induced IL-8 production by colonic epithelial cells
Boonma, P, Spinler, JK, Venable, SF, Versalovic, J & Tumwasorn, S 2014, BMC Microbiology, vol 14, no. 1, 177. DOI:

The placenta harbors a unique microbiome
Aagaard, K, Ma, J, Antony, KM, Ganu, R, Petrosino, J & Versalovic, J 2014, Science Translational Medicine, vol 6, no. 237, 237ra65. DOI:

MtDNA haplogroup and single nucleotide polymorphisms structure human microbiome communities
Ma, J, Coarfa, C, Qin, X, Bonnen, PE, Milosavljevic, A, Versalovic, J & Aagaard, K 2014, BMC Genomics, vol 15, no. 1, 257. DOI:

Identification of a proton-chloride antiporter (EriC) by Himar1 transposon mutagenesis in Lactobacillus reuteri and its role in histamine production
Hemarajata, P, Spinler, JK, Balderas, MA & Versalovic, J 2014, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology, vol 105, no. 3, pp. 579-592. DOI:

Gut microbiota influences low fermentable substrate diet efficacy in children with irritable bowel syndrome
Chumpitazi, BP, Hollister, EB, Oezguen, N, Tsai, CM, McMeans, AR, Luna, RA, Savidge, TC, Versalovic, J & Shulman, RJ 2014, Gut Microbes, vol 5, no. 2. DOI:

Microbioma intestinale umano e metabolismo corporeo: Implicazioni per obesità e diabete
Devaraj, S, Hemarajata, P & Versalovic, J 2014, Biochimica Clinica, vol 38, no. 6, pp. 639-650.

From prediction to function using evolutionary genomics: Human-specific ecotypes of lactobacillus reuterihave diverse probiotic functions
Spinler, JK, Sontakke, A, Hollister, EB, Venable, SF, Oh, PL, Balderas, MA, Saulnier, DMA, Mistretta, TA, Devaraj, S, Walter, J, Versalovic, J & Highlander, SK 2014, Genome Biology and Evolution, vol 6, no. 7, pp. 1772-1789. DOI: