Melanie L. Yarbrough, PhD

Melanie L. Yarbrough, PhD

Associate Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Medical Director, Microbiology, Barnes Jewish Hospital
Section Head, Microbiology
Director, Microbiology Fellowship


  • Laboratory & Genomic Medicine

Additional Titles

  • Section Head, Microbiology
  • Director, Medical & Public Health Microbiology Fellowship

Related Links


  • BS Veterinary Biomedical and Clinical Sciences: Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2004)
  • PhD Molecular Microbiology: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (2009)
  • Fellowship, Clinical Chemistry: Washington University, St. Louis, MO (2015)
  • Fellowship, Clinical Microbiology: Washington University, St. Louis, MO (2017)

Board Certifications

  • Diplomate, American Board of Clinical Chemistry, 2015
  • Diplomate, American Board of Medical Microbiology, 2017


  • Clinical Pathology Teaching Award, Washington University School of Medicine, 2023
  • Washington University Laboratory and Genomic Medicine Fellow Teacher of the Year
  • American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Outstanding Speaker Award
  • Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists Ellis Benson Award

Clinical Interests

  • Microbiology
  • Bacteriology
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Antimicrobial resistance

Research Interests

My research focuses on the evaluation of methods for isolation and identification of urinary pathogens, including multi-drug resistant organisms. Additional studies aim to characterize the urinary microbiome to explore links between characteristic microbial communities and the presence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and UTI. Together, these studies will provide opportunities for improvement of both diagnostic and antimicrobial stewardship of genitourinary diseases that have a major impact on public health.

Selected Publications

Yarbrough ML, Wallace MA, Potter RF, D’Souza AW, Dantas G, Burnham CD. Breakpoint beware: reliance on historical breakpoints for Enterobacteriaceae leads to discrepancies in interpretation of susceptibility testing for carbapenems and cephalosporins and gaps in detection of carbapenem-resistant organisms. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2019 Nov 2. (PMID: 31679102)
Farnsworth CW, Wallace MA, Liu A, Gronowski AM, Burnham CD, Yarbrough ML. Evaluation of the risk of laboratory microbial contamination during routine testing in automated clinical chemistry and microbiology laboratories. Clin Chem. 2020 Sep 1;66(9):1190-1199. (PMID: 32870987)
Yarbrough ML, Wallace MA, Burnham CA. Comparison of microorganism detection and time-to-positivity in pediatric and standard media from three major commercial continuously monitored blood culture systems. J Clin Microbiol. 2021 Apr 28:JCM.00429-21. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00429-21. (PMID: 33910963)
Sawhney SS, Johnson C, Shupe A, Fine J, Dantas G, Burnham CD, Yarbrough ML. Assessment of the Urinary Microbiota of MSM Using Urine Culturomics Reveals a Diverse Microbial Environment. Clin Chem. 2021 Dec 30;68(1):192-203. doi: 10.1093/clinchem/hvab199. (PMID: 34969116)

Dionne Brierton
BJCIH Room 5800