Sarah K. Highlander
Sarah K. Highlander

Sarah K. Highlander Ph.D.

Research Professor
Pathogen and Microbiome Division

Director, Microbiome Service Core
Pathogen and Microbiome Division

Sarah K. Highlander Ph.D.

Sarah Highlander is the Director of the Clinical Microbiome Service Center and Research Professor at the Pathogen and Microbiome Division of TGen. Her current activities are directed toward the development of a high-performance, best-in-class facility to support all aspects of clinical, veterinary, and environmental microbiome studies at TGen, City of Hope, and with outside collaborators.

Prior to joining TGen, Sarah was a Professor at the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, California, where she led projects on travelers’ diarrhea, antimicrobial resistance in pediatric diarrhea, and juvenile caries in a twin cohort. Before joining JCVI, she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology and the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, Texas. She has over thirty years of experience in medical microbiology with specific expertise in microbial genetics, genomics, and infectious disease. Over the past ten years, Sarah has become an expert in the field of human microbiome research. At BCM, she was a Principal Investigator on the NIH-funded Human Microbiome Project, where she was involved in the development of early protocols for human sample processing and analysis, including the development of standards that are now widely used as controls for microbiome sample processing and sequencing.

Sarah received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Medical Microbiology from the New York University School of Medicine. 

p300 Serine 89: A Critical Signaling Integrator and Its Effects on Intestinal Homeostasis and Repair Lai KKY, Hu X, Chosa K, Nguyen C, Lin DP, Lai KK, Kato N, Higuchi Y, Highlander SK, Melendez E, Eriguchi Y, Fueger PT, Ouellette AJ, Chimge NO, Ono M, Kahn M. Cancers (Basel) 2021 13:1288

Analysis of Gut Microbiome Using Explainable Machine Learning Predicts Risk of Diarrhea Associated With Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Neratinib: A Pilot Study Wong CW, Yost SE, Lee JS, Gillece JD, Folkerts M, Reining L, Highlander SK, Eftekhari Z, Mortimer J, Yuan Y. Front Oncol 2021 11:604584

A Phase II Clinical Trial of Pembrolizumab and Enobosarm in Patients with Androgen Receptor-Positive Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Yuan Y, Lee JS, Yost SE, Frankel PH, Ruel C, Egelston CA, Guo W, Gillece JD, Folkerts M, Reining L, Highlander SK, Robinson K, Padam S, Martinez N, Tang A, Schmolze D, Waisman J, Sedrak M, Lee PP, Mortimer J. Oncologist 2021 26:99-e217

Randomized trial assessing impact of probiotic supplementation on gut microbiome and clinical outcome from targeted therapy in metastatic renal cell carcinoma Dizman N, Hsu J, Bergerot PG, Gillece JD, Folkerts M, Reining L, Trent J, Highlander SK, Pal SK. Cancer Med 2021 10:79-86

Stool Microbiome Profiling of Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Receiving Anti-PD-1 Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Salgia NJ, Bergerot PG, Maia MC, Dizman N, Hsu J, Gillece JD, Folkerts M, Reining L, Trent J, Highlander SK, Pal SK. Eur Urol 2020 78:498-502

Gut Microbiome-Based Metagenomic Signature for Non-invasive Detection of Advanced Fibrosis in Human Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Loomba R, Seguritan V, Li W, Long T, Klitgord N, Bhatt A, Dulai PS, Caussy C, Bettencourt R, Highlander SK, Jones MB, Sirlin CB, Schnabl B, Brinkac L, Schork N, Chen CH, Brenner DA, Biggs W, Yooseph S, Venter JC, Nelson KE. Cell Metab 2019 30:607

Supragingival Plaque Microbiome Ecology and Functional Potential in the Context of Health and Disease Espinoza JL, Harkins DM, Torralba M, Gomez A, Highlander SK, Jones MB, Leong P, Saffery R, Bockmann M, Kuelbs C, Inman JM, Hughes T, Craig JM, Nelson KE, Dupont CL. mBio 2018 9:e01631-18

Visualization-assisted binning of metagenome assemblies reveals potential new pathogenic profiles in idiopathic travelers' diarrhea Zhu Q, Dupont CL, Jones MB, Pham KM, Jiang ZD, DuPont HL, Highlander SK. Microbiome 2018 6:201

Host genetic control of the oral microbiome in health and disease Gomez A, Espinoza JL, Harkins DM, Leong P, Saffery R, Bockmann M, Torralba M, Kuelbs C, Kodukula R, Inman J, Hughes T, Craig JM, Highlander SK, Jones MB, Dupont CL, Nelson KE. Cell Host Microbe 2017 22:269-278

A robust ambient temperature collection and stabilization strategy: Enabling worldwide functional studies of the human microbiome Anderson EL, Li W, Klitgord N, Highlander SK, Dayrit M, Seguritan V, Yooseph S, Biggs W, Venter JC, Nelson KE, Jones MB. Sci Rep 2016 6:31731

Sequencing 16S rRNA gene fragments using the PacBio SMRT DNA sequencing system Schloss PD, Jenior ML, Koumpouras CC, Westcott SL, Highlander SK. PeerJ 2016 4:e1869

Library preparation methodology can influence genomic and functional predictions in human microbiome research Jones MB, Highlander SK, Anderson EL, Li W, Dayrit M, Klitgord N, Fabani MM, Seguritan V, Green J, Pride DT, Yooseph S, Biggs W, Nelson KE, Venter JC. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2015 112:14024-1029

Development of a dual-index sequencing strategy and curation pipeline for analyzing amplicon sequence on the MiSeq Illumina sequencing pipeline Kozich JJ, Westcott SL, Baxter NT, Highlander SK, Schloss PD. Appl Environ Microbiol 79:5112-5120

Back To Top