In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have determined that genetics may play a role in how wounds heal.

Caleb Phillips, an assistant professor at Texas Tech University and director of the Phillips Laboratory in the Department of Biological Sciences, and doctoral student Craig Tipton led the study, “Patient genetics is linked to chronic wound microbiome composition and healing,” published Thursday (June 18) in the open-access, peer-reviewed medical journal PLOS Pathogens.

Phillips, who also serves as Curator of Genetic Resources at the Natural Science Research Laboratory’s (NSRL) Robert J. Baker Genetic Resources Collection, said the study determined that certain genes are associated with the number of bacteria and abundance of common pathogens in wounds. The collection of microbes, known as a “microbiome,” can determine how a wound heals and how long that process takes. The research also showed that the more diversity within a wound microbiome, the less time it took to heal.



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