Benjamin Olson

Program: Molecular Genetics and Genomics

Current advisor: Scott J. Hultgren, PhD

Undergraduate university: Central Michigan University, 2014

Enrollment year: 2019

Research summary
Elucidating the mechanisms of the gut-bladder axis in recurrent urinary tract infection.

Uropathogenic E. coli is often found as a member of the gut microbial community during and prior to urinary tract infection. While it seems clear this E. coli can spread from the gut to eventually transcend the urethra and infect the bladder, it remains unclear what these strains are doing in the gut. I aim to determine if uropathogenic E. coli found in the gut predisposes individuals to more severe UTIs. Additionally, I aim to determine how these E. coli strains can overcome colonization resistance from the native bacterial flora in the first place.

Graduate publications
Russell SK, Harrison JK, Olson BS, Lee HJ, O’Brien VP, Xing X, Livny J, Yu L, Roberson EDO, Bomjan R, Fan C, Sha M, Estfanous S, Amer AO, Colonna M, Stappenbeck TS, Wang T, Hannan TJ, Hultgren SJ. 2023 Uropathogenic Escherichia coli infection-induced epithelial trained immunity impacts urinary tract disease outcome. Nat Microbiol, 8(5):875-88. PMCID: PMC10159856

Worby CJ, Olson BS, Dodson KW, Earl AM, Hultgren SJ. 2022 Establishing the role of the gut microbiota in susceptibility to recurrent urinary tract infections. J Clin Invest, 132(5):e158497. PMCID: PMC8884912

Worby CJ, Schreiber HL 4th, Straub TJ, van Dijk LR, Bronson RA, Olson BS, Pinkner JS, Obernuefemann CLP, Muñoz VL, Paharik AE, Azimzadeh PN, Walker BJ, Desjardins CA, Chou WC, Bergeron K, Chapman SB, Klim A, Manson AL, Hannan TJ, Hooton TM, Kau AL, Lai HH, Dodson KW, Hultgren SJ, Earl AM. 2022 Longitudinal multi-omics analyses link gut microbiome dysbiosis with recurrent urinary tract infections in women. Nat Microbiol, 7(5):630-39. PMCID: