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Sean P. Conlan, Ph.D.

Sean P. Conlan
Associate Investigator
Microbial Genomics Section

Translational and Functional Genomics Branch

B.S. Florida State University, 1996
Ph.D. Texas A&M University, 2003

T: (301) 451-4422
F: (301) 402-4929
Building 49, Room 4C36
BETHESDA, MD 20892-4442

Selected Publications

The Microbial Genomics Section (MGS) explores connections between microbes, microbial communities and human health. The MGS has an ambitious portfolio of projects focused on cataloging the bacterial and fungal diversity of human skin as it relates to both health and disease. Analysis of the relative abundance of bacterial and fungal marker genes has been used to generate both baseline characterizations of healthy individuals and testable hypotheses about the underlying causes of diseases like atopic dermatitis. Comprehensive studies employing metagenomic sequencing to capture pathway and abundance data across taxonomic kingdoms are now underway. In addition, a fruitful collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center's Department of Laboratory Medicine has been established to examine outbreaks of clinically relevant hospital pathogens, focusing on carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, using high-resolution genome sequencing.


Dr. Sean Conlan is an associate investigator in the Microbial Genomics Section (MGS) of the Translational and Functional Genomics Branch at NHGRI. He earned his bachelors in Biochemistry from Florida State University in 1996. In 2003 he earned his Ph.D. in medical biochemistry from Texas A&M University studying bacterial membrane proteins in the laboratory of Dr. Hagan Bayley. He conducted postdoctoral research from 2003 to 2006 at The Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, where he used motif finding algorithms to identify bacterial regulatory networks. From 2006 to 2008, he developed computational tools for detecting pathogens in clinical samples as part of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. He's been a staff scientist in Julie Segre's group since 2008.

Dr. Conlan oversees bioinformatics for the MGS and splits his time between data management responsibilities and basic research. The MGS uses a variety of DNA sequencing strategies and platforms to answer basic research questions on a) the human skin microbiome and b) hospital associated pathogens. Dr. Conlan works closely with the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center to process, analyze and publicly deposit sequencing data associated with MGS projects. He also does basic research on the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, plasmid biology and molecular epidemiology of hospital associated pathogens.

Scientific Summary

Posted: December 8, 2016