Lori R. Holtz, MD, MSPH

Associate Professor, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, School of Medicine

Dr. Holtz’s research is centered around the developing childhood gut and disorders that effect the gut including diarrhea, environmental enteropathy, and celiac disease. Her lab uses metagenomics, virology, and epidemiology to begin to define the gut virome in health and disease.

The first microbial colonization of the gut is hypothesized to be a critical developmental process, which sets the stage for the infant’s future health and disease risk. The lab is interested in determining how the gut virome develops, factors that influence its development, and if perturbations in the virome are associated with disease.

The gastrointestinal tract plays roles not only in digestion and absorption, but also as a barrier to potential invaders including microbes, toxins, and other antigenic molecules. Gut barrier function is deranged in celiac disease, an autoimmune disease characterized by villous destruction and crypt hypertrophy in response to exposure to dietary gluten in genetically susceptible people. She is studying intestinal permeability in children with new onset celiac disease and adults with inflammatory bowel disease.