Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
University of California Riverside
Ansel Hsiao’s laboratory focuses on identifying the mechanisms by which the gut microbiota can confer susceptibility or resistance to enteropathogenic bacteria. Recently, his work has identified that interspecies bacterial communication, a process known as quorum sensing, is employed by the gut microbiota to inhibit virulence gene production by the important human diarrheal pathogen Vibrio cholerae.His future research focuses on:
1) Elucidating the role played by quorum sensing in modulating the structure and function of the gut microbiota and virulence gene regulation in V. cholerae;
2) Identifying mechanisms underlying gut microbiota-mediated colonization resistance against pathogens of the gut;
3) Developing methods for manipulating the structure of the gut microbiota with a view to providing prophylaxis against bacterial enteropathogenesis.
Dr Embriette Hyde
Assistant Project Scientist
Universityof California, San Diego
Embriette Hyde is an Assistant Project Scientist and manages the American Gut Project. She facilitates and follows up on collaborative interests. She continues to study the microbiome as a post-doctoral research associate in Rob Knight’s lab, where she studies “lesser-studied” microbiomes such as those associated with the Euphorbia plant and the Komodo dragon.
She is also involved in protocol development for anaerobic culturing of novel taxa. She recently joined a project aiming to characterize the effects of vaginal ring drug delivery systems on the vaginal microbiome of women. This work is crucial to testing the efficacy of a drug delivery system for HIV prevention in women.
Dr Laura Cox
Harvard Medical School
Laura Cox is a research fellow at the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Howard Weiner’s Laboratory. She obtained her PhD in Martin Blaser’s lab at NYU, where her work demonstrated that early-life microbiota disruption with sub-therapeutic antibiotics resulted in lasting changes in metabolism. Prior to her PhD, she was trained and board certified as a medical technologist and worked for two years as a medical microbiologist. Her long-term research objective is to investigate how the microbiome modulates metabolic, neurologic, and immunologic diseases throughout development and aging, with a current focus on obesity, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown
Associate Professor, School of Sustainable Engineering
Arizona State University
Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown is an Associate Professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering and The Built Environment and the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at Arizona State University. She Joined the SSEBE faculty in 2007. She has Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech. She was awarded an NSF CAREER award, was selected as one of 40 under 40 leaders in Phoenix, and has funding for her research from many federal agencies including NIH, DoE and NSF. She is author of 5 patents and more than 70 peer-reviewed publications. She specializes on molecular microbial ecology for bioremediation, the use of microbial systems for bioenergy production, and the human intestinal microbial ecology and its relationship to obesity, bariatric surgery, and autism.
Professor Cathryn Nagler
Professor of Pathology, Medicine, Pediatrics and the College
The University of Chicago
Cathryn Nagler graduated with honors from Barnard College, Columbia University, obtained her Ph.D. from the Sackler Institute of Biomedical Science at N.Y.U. School of Medicine and did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Immunology) at Harvard Medical School prior to joining the University of Chicago in 2009.
Dr. Nagler has participated in numerous review panels for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, NIDDK and NIAID, including the Food Allergy Expert Panel. She has served the American Association of Immunologists as Section Editor for the Journal of Immunology, Instructor (Mucosal Immunology) for the Introduction to Immunology course and as member of the Program, Clinical Immunology, Publications and Awards Committees.
Dr. Nagler has a long-standing interest in the mechanisms governing tolerance to dietary antigens and the potential immunomodulatory features of this route of antigen administration. Her most recent work examines how intestinal bacteria regulate susceptibility to allergic responses to food. In 2016 Dr. Nagler co-founded ClostraBio, a new company dedicated to developing novel microbiome-modulating therapeutic interventions for the prevention and treatment of food allergy.
Professor Jessica Metcalf
Colorado State University
Jessica Metcalf brings together the fields of vertebrate evolution, microbial ecology, human health, and forensic science with innovative research tools to study the interactions between microbes and vertebrates during life and after death. She uses high-throughput sequencing of bacterial and microbial eukaryotic communities to study how microbial communities change in response to disturbance events in both short time scales (decomposition of mammalian taxa) and long time scales (human population shifts to a western diet). In particular, she is interested in temporal/time-series data sets that allow us to understand the dynamics and predictability of microbial community change.
Emma Taylor is the co-founder and CEO of Naked Biome. Naked Biome is a microbiome-based skin therapeutics company. We are building the most advanced drug discovery genomics platform for the treatment of skin diseases and restoration of health. Our proprietary approach to skin therapy leverages the power of beneficial bacteria on the skin to eliminate harmful bacteria and restore skin to a healthier state.
Professor Julia Oh
The Jackson Laboratory
Dr. Oh’s main research interests focus on the human microbiome—the diverse bacteria, fungi, and viruses that inhabit our bodies—for its potential to deliver treatments for infectious and other diseases. Dr. Oh comes to the microbiome world by way of fungal chemogenomics with technologist and geneticist Dr. Ronald Davis at Stanford and comparative genomics of wild wine yeast at the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard. Prior to joining the Jackson Laboratory, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Oh’s research, exploring the complex interactions between the host and its microbes has lead to important implications for the contribution of the microbiome to disease.
John F.Kokai-Kun, PhD
Vice-President Non-Clinical Research
Synthetic Biologics, Inc
John F. Kokai-Kun, PhD is currently Vice President of Non-clinical Affairs for Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (Rockville, MD). He received his BS in Biochemistry from Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA and his PhD in Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. He then served as a post-doctoral researcher at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Kokai-Kun has 20 years of experience in the drug development industry and has held positions with several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies where his research and development efforts have focused primarily on anti-bacterial drugs and vaccines. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Uniformed Services University.
Kiran Krishnan is a Research Microbiologist and has been involved in the dietary supplement and nutrition market for the past 16 years. He comes from a strict research background having spent several years with hands-on R&D in the fields of molecular medicine and microbiology at the University of Iowa. Mr. Krishnan earned his Bachelor of Science degrees in Microbiology at the University of Iowa; his undergraduate education was followed up with post graduate research in Molecular Biology and Virology. He left University research to take a position as the U.S. Business Development and Product Development lead for Amano Enzyme, USA. Amano is one of the world’s largest suppliers of therapeutic enzymes used in the dietary supplement and pharmaceutical industries in North America. Kiran also established a Clinical Research Organization where he designed and conducted over a dozen human clinical trials in human nutrition. Kiran is also a co-founder and partner in Nu Science Trading, LLC.; a nutritional technology development, research and marketing company in the U.S. Dietary Supplement and Medical Food markets. Most recently, Kiran is acting as the Chief Scientific Officer at Physician’s Exclusive, LLC. and Microbiome Labs. He is a frequent lecturer on the Human Microbiome at Medical and Nutrition Conferences. He conducts the popular monthly Microbiome Series Webinars through the Rebel Health Tribe Group practitioner training program, he has been invited as an expert guest on National Radio and Satellite radio and has been a guest speaker in several Health Summits as a microbiome expert. He is currently involved in 3 novel human clinical trials on probiotics and the human microbiome. Kiran offers his extensive knowledge and practical application of the latest science on the human microbiome as it relates to health and wellness.
Assistant Professor of Medicine & Genetics
Dr. Bhatt is an Assistant Professor of Medicine & Genetics at Stanford University. She received her MD and PhD (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) at UCSF. There she received the Fineberg Award for Excellence in Teaching and was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha. She completed residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and was a fellow in Hematology/Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Thereafter, she carried out her post-doctoral studies at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.
Dr. Bhatt seeks to improve outcomes in patients with hematological malignancies by exhaustively characterizing the dynamics of the microbiome in immunocompromised individuals, and exploring how changes in the microbiome are associated with idiopathic diseases in this population.
J. Craig Venter Institute
Anna’s research focuses on the complex human oral microbiome and how bacterial gene expression and signaling molecules orchestrate the development of both health and disease associated communities. A major goal is to develop novel meta-omics analysis approaches linking multiple levels of microbiome information, ranging from genes, genomes, gene transcripts, secreted small molecules to dynamic ecosystem changes over time and in 3D space.
Steven A. Frese, PhD
Associate Director of Research and Development
Dr. Frese is a microbial ecologist leading R & D at Evolve Biosystems, a startup company borne out of fifteen years of research at the University of California, Davis, by the world’s foremost researchers in the gut microbiome, infant nutrition, and milk. Evolve has developed the next-generation of live bio-therapeutics based on sound, evidence-based research, by understanding how nature has shaped the mother-infant-microbe triad, and how to ensure this healthy triad is supported throughout the nursing period.
Dr Claudia Sanmiguel
The David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
Dr Sanmiguel is an assistant professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and the Director of the Ingestive Behavior and Obesity Program (IBOP) at the Oppenheimer Center for the Neurobiology of Stress and Resiliance (CNSR), an interdisciplinary research center with a primary focus on the role of brain-gut interactions in health and disease. She is deeply interested in the role of the brain-gut axis in regulating ingestive behaviors in obesity and in weight loss. She is currently studying the mechanisms underlying the weight loss induced by different bariatric procedures with emphasis in the mechanisms behind surgery-induced changes in the hunger and satiety sensations, in food preferences and their brain representations and behavioral correlates. Her research includes assessment of signals that influence satiation, hunger and eating behaviors at the brain level including gut peptides, gut microbiome/host interactions via metabolites and adipose tissue signaling.
Dr. Lucia Mokres
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Lucia Mokres is Chief Medical Officer of EpiBiome, Inc. She leverages her clinical, research, and industry background to provide medical oversight and strategic direction for all clinical development activities, defines regulatory strategy, supports marketing and business development activities, and serves as the medical point of contact for external stakeholders. She has held multiple roles within the human medical device industry, most recently lending her expertise to medical safety, clinical and regulatory affairs, research & development, quality affairs, and marketing functions at a Fortune 500 company. She received a BS in Physiology and Neuroscience at UC San Diego, graduated cum laude from the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Saskia van Hemert
Professor David Pride
Associate Professor of Pathology andMedicine
University of California, San Diego
David Pride’s laboratory focuses on identifying viral members of the human microbiome and in identifying their contributions to human health and disease. He is working on understanding the ecology of viruses and their consequences for our close contacts, characterizing their contributions to community antibiotic resistance, and developing model systems to understand how they respond to perturbations.
Professor Angela M. Zivkovic
Assistant Professor,Department of Nutrition
University of California
Dr. Zivkovic’s research is focused on the role of diet and nutrition in Precision Health. Precision Health emphasizes individually tailored approaches to optimize health and prevent disease. The Zivkovic Lab has four overall research themes: 1) Investigating the functional biology of HDL; 2) Assessing the effects of diets and dietary constituents on inflammation; 3) Integrating clinical, metabolomic, proteomic, glycomic, transcriptomic, and genomic approaches to characterize metabolic phenotypes and their responsiveness to different diets; and 4) Investigating the effects of diets and dietary constituents on the gut microbiota and how they in turn affect host health.
Professor Jose Clemente
Assistant Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine
Jose is a computational biologist. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and the Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He received is B.Sc. from University of Seville (Spain), and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Japan). He did his postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Genetics (Japan) and at the University of Colorado. His lab develops computational and experimental methods to understand the microbiome and its relation to immune and metabolic disorders.
Professor Katrine Whiteson
Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Katrine Whiteson is a biochemist interested in human associated microbial and viral communities. She uses metagenomics, metabolomics, microbial genetics and ecological statistics to answer questions about how microbes and viruses affect human health.
She is interested in understanding how individual and persistent human-associated microbial and viral communities affect health. Specifically, she is working to understand the role of persistent microbial colonization in triggering inflammatory episodes in Cystic Fibrosis patients. Understanding microbial interactions and changes in microbial physiology that are associated with changes in patient status may lead to the development of biomarkers to diagnose changes in infection earlier and more specifically.
Professor Mark Pimentel
Director of GI Motility Program
Dr. Mark Pimentel, serves as a Director of Cedars-sinai Gi Motility Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Pimentel has been the Chairman of Clinical Advisory Board at Synthetic Biologics Inc. since April 2014. Dr. Pimentel is an Associate Professor of Medicine at CSMC in Los Angeles, California. Active in research, Dr. Pimentel has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator for numerous basic science, translational and clinical studies in such areas as IBS, and the relationship between gut flora composition and human disease.
His work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, American Journal of Physiology, American Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Gastroenterology and Digestive Diseases and Sciences, among others. Dr. Pimentel has been invited to present his work at meetings, grand rounds, and advisory boards in the United States and Internationally.
Professor Noah Palm
Assistant Professor of Immunobiology
Yale School of Medicine
Noah W. Palm is an Assistant Professor of Immunobiology and a member of the Human and Translational Immunology Program at the Yale University School of Medicine. His laboratory focuses on illuminating the myriad interactions between the immune system and the gut microbiota in health and disease. Dr. Palm performed his doctoral work with Ruslan Medzhitov and his postdoctoral work with Richard Flavell, both at Yale University. The long-term goal of the Palm lab is to understand the mechanisms by which specific members of the human gut microbiota interact with and influence the host immune system, and the effects of this interaction on human physiology in health and disease.
Professor Richard Gallo
Chair, Department of Dermatology
University of California, San Diego
Richard L. Gallo, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, and Interim Chair for the Department of Dermatology at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on the role of the innate immune system in skin health and disease, focusing on antimicrobial peptides and aspects of the basic functions of the skin immune system.
He has contributed several landmark observations to the field of Dermatology including the first description of an antimicrobial peptide in mammalian skin, the first demonstration that mammals depend on antimicrobial peptides for defense against infection, and the first association of a human diseases (atopic eczema and Rosacea) with a defect in antimicrobial peptide production. His work has been seen in some of the most prestigious scientific and medical journals and is well supported by grants from the NIH, the Veterans Administration, and private foundations.
Professor Rob Knight
Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego
Rob Knight is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, with an additional appointment in the Department of Computer Science, at the University of California San Diego. He was chosen as one of 50 HHMI Early Career Scientists in 2009, is a Senior Editor at the ISME Journal, a member of the Steering Committee of the Earth Microbiome Project, and a co-founder of the American Gut Project.
Dr. Finegold is on the Emeritus faculty of the VA Medical Center, WLA in the Infectious Diseases Section and is Emeritus Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at the UCLA School of Medicine. He trained in internal medicine before the subspecialty of infectious diseases was established, first with Wesley Spink, MD, and Wendell Hall, MD, at the University of Minnesota and later with William L. Hewitt, MD, at UCLA. His principal research interests over the past sixty years (the last 12 years as a “retiree”) have been anaerobic bacteria and their role in disease and the intestinal flora of man and its role in health and disease.
Professor Stephen O’Keefe
Professor of Gastroenterology
University of Pittsburgh
A Professor of Medicine, Dr. O’Keefe’s research is focused on physiological and pathophysiological nutritional responses to dietary intake and interventional feeding. These efforts focus on the relationship between diet, the colonic microbiota, and colon cancer risk, particularly among African vs. African American populations.
Professor Sarkis Mazmanian
Assistant Professor of Microbiology
Sarkis Mazmanian is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Caltech. His laboratory focuses on three major areas of study: (1) Identify the molecular components of the host immune system which recognize and respond to the immunomodulatory signals of symbiotic bacteria. (2) Define the cellular and molecular mechanisms which mediate protection to immune pathologies such as colitis. (3) Explore the possibility of harnessing the beneficial effects provided by symbiotic bacteria for the development of therapies against immune-mediated disorders.
Professor Robert S. Chapkin
Distinguished Professor, Regents Professor & University Faculty Fellow
Texas A&M University
Dr. Chapkin is an expert in dietary/microbial modulators related to prevention of colon cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. He has been continuously funded by NIH for the past 28 years and has made highly significant contributions in cancer chemoprevention and inflammation biology with specific emphasis in: (i) elucidation of signal transduction processes in intestinal stem cells, (ii) membrane biology and nutritional modulation of organ membrane structure and function, (iii) investigation of the role of inflammation as a critical factor in cancer development, and its modulation by environmental/botanical agents, (iv) establishment of models for chronic inflammation and cancer prevention studies, and (v) development of novel non-invasive Systems Biology-based methodologies to assess crosstalk between the gut microbiome and the host transcriptome and its application to translational research.
Professor Gregor Reid
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University
Gregor Reid is Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Surgery at The University of Western Ontario and Endowed Chair in Human Microbiobiome and Probiotics at the Lawson Health Research Institute.
His research primarily focuses on beneficial microbes and he has developed novel probiotic therapies used by several million people around the world. He has held 28 patents, published 463 peer-reviewed papers, and given >560 talks in 53 countries. He Chaired the United Nations – World Health Organization Expert Panel and Working Group on Probiotics, and have been President of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics.
Professor George Weinstock
Director of Microbial Genomics
The Jackson Laboratory
George Weinstock, Ph.D., is a legend in the field of genomics who is dedicated to discovering and understanding the future of human biology and pathology. The Weinstock lab has been actively developing programs to bring expertise in infectious disease genomics to bear on clinical problems posed by infectious diseases. The group works to both use NGS as well as develop new methods to predict and treat infection in patients who are at risk due to their clinical condition. This methodology will have broader applications for many aspects of healthcare, as the risk of infection is significant in all areas of the hospital environment.
Professor Georg Gerber
Assistant Professor of Pathology
Harvard Medical School
Professor Georg Gerber is Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, and Co-Director at Massachusetts Host-Microbiome Center. His objective is to create novel computational models and high-throughput experimental systems to understand the role of the microbiota in human diseases, and to apply these findings to develop new diagnostic tests and therapeutic interventions to improve patient care.
Professor Dan Knights
Assistant Professor of Computational Microbiology, Biotechnology Institute
University of Minnesota
Dr. Dan Knights is a computational microbiologist. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Biotechnology Institute at the University of Minnesota. Dan received his B.A. from Middlebury College, and his PhD from the University of Colorado, both in Computer Science, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard. His research uses data mining and machine learning to aggregate and mine multiple sources of microbial and human genomic data for patterns linking to environmental conditions and human disease. Dan has co-authored articles in top multidisciplinary journals, including 6 publications in Nature, Science and Cell. In 2015 he was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor by the University of Minnesota.
Professor Curtis Huttenhower
Associate Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Curtis Huttenhower is an Associate Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Harvard University. His lab focuses on understanding the function of microbial communities, particularly that of the human microbiome in health and disease.
This entails a combination of computational methods development for wrangling large data collections, as well as biological analyses and laboratory experiments to link the microbiome in human populations to specific microbiological mechanisms.
In particular, we’ve worked extensively with the NIH Human Microbiome Project to help develop the first comprehensive map of the healthy Western adult microbiome, and there’s plenty of work left to keep us busy understanding how human-associated microbial communities can be used as a means of diagnosis or therapeutic intervention on the continuum between health and disease.
Dr Catherine Lozupone
Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine
University of Colorado University
Dr. Lozupone is in the Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine in the Department of Medicine, and is additionally core faculty in the Computational Biosciences Program and adjunct faculty in the Department of Microbiology. The main focus of her lab is to understand factors that shape human microbiota composition in health and disease (particularly in the gastrointestinal tract) and to elucidate the functional consequences of compositional differences, both in terms of the biological/metabolic properties of individual bacteria and host interactions.