Texas Tech University

Caleb D. Phillips

Assistant Professor
Curator of Genetic Resources Collection, Natural Science Research Laboratory

Email: caleb.phillips@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-8181


  • Ph.D. in Genetics- 2009, Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
  • M.S. in Biology- 2006, Tarleton State University, Department of Biological Sciences
  • B.S. in Biology- 2003, Tarleton State University, Department of Biological Sciences

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Research Interests

The Phillips laboratory studies metagenomic and genomic evolution underlying mammalian function.

Our work in metagenomics has two main themes.  The first is focused on understanding the relationship between observed patterns of variation among microbiome communities and how this variation relates to functional differences.  We are developing new analytical approaches and software to this end (see our ICB paper, below).  Owing to their unique characteristics, we commonly exploit bats as our study system for this work.  The second component of our metagenomics work pertains to how bacterial community dynamics and host genomics influence infection profiles of chronic wounds.  Much of this work is in collaboration with the Southwest Regional Wound Care Center and involves the development of the Wolcott Wound Care Research Collection at The Museum of TTU.  By incorporating concepts developed in the fields of evolutionary biology, genomics, phylogenetics, physiology and ecology, this work builds systems-level understanding of organismal function.

Our work in genomics devolves from our interest in understanding how evolution of gene expression explains functional differences across lineages.  We are particularly interested in post-transcriptional regulation during craniofacial development.  We are currently working in the mouse model to develop a catalog of regulatory targets of the RNA-binding protein, Musashi-2, a protein we have shown to be mandatory for normal craniofacial development.

Selected Publications

  • Phillips CD, Hanson JD, Wilkinson J, Koenig L, Rees E, Webala P, Kingston T (2017) Microbiome Structural and Functional Interactions across Host Dietary Niche Space. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 57(4):743-755.
  • Tipton CD, Mathew ME, Wolcott RA, Wolcott RD, Kingston T, Phillips CD (2017) Temporal dynamics of relative abundances and bacterial succession in chronic wound communities. Wound Repair and Regeneration, DOI: 10.1111/wrr.12555.
  • Wolcott RD, Hanson JD, Rees E, Koenig L, Phillips CD, Wolcott R, Cox SB, White J (2016) Analysis of the Chronic Wound Microbiota of 2963 Patients by 16S rDNA Pyrosequencing. Wound Repair and Regeneration, DOI:10.1111/wrr.12370.
  • Phillips CD, RJ Baker (2015) Secretory gene recruitments in vampire bat salivary adaptation and potential convergences with sanguivorous leeches. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, DOI:10.3389/fevo.2015.00122
  • Phillips CD, B Butler, JW Fondon, H Mantilla-Meluk, RJ Baker (2013) Contrasting evolutionary dynamics of the developmental regulator PAX9, among bats, with evidence for a novel post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism. PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057649
  • Phillips CD, G Phelan, SE Dowd, MM McDONOUGH, AW Ferguson, JD Hanson, L Siles, N Ordóñez-Gerza, M San Francisco, RJ Baker (2012) Microbiome analysis among bats describes influences of host phylogeny, life history, physiology and geography. Molecular Ecology, 21(11):2617-2627

Department of Biological Sciences

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    Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Box 43131 Lubbock, TX 79409
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