Dr. Petrof is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine & GIDRU in the Division of Infectious Diseases and has a cross-appointment to the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences.
Dr. Petrof obtained her MD from The University of Toronto in 1996. She completed training in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Pharmacology, and a research fellowship at the University of Chicago. She obtained her MSc in Pharmacology from the University of Ottawa in 1992.
Details of Research Interests:
Dr. Petrof's research interests focus on probiotics, microbial-epithelial cell interactions in the gut, and the effects of intestinal bacteria on inflammation. Her lab is interested in the study of commensal bacteria, probiotics and the products they synthesize to inhibit inflammation and various forms of colitis, and in understanding their mechanisms of action. These investigations will ultimately result in a better understanding of the protective role of commensal gut flora under conditions of inflammation and stress, and lead to novel microbe-based treatment modalities for the management of inflammatory intestinal diseases.
Ongoing projects in the laboratory revolve around this long-term goal. There are several disease states of intestinal inflammation in which the Petrof lab has an interest, including infectious colitis from Clostridium difficile, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a form of colitis whose etiology is poorly understood, and infectious colitis from Salmonella (i.e. food poisoning). Different models which represent these different disease states are used in the laboratory to further investigate the protective effects of commensal bacteria under these different conditions. Other areas of interest include necrotizing enterocolitis, an inflammatory colitis of prematurity, and characterization of the gut microbiota.
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