We are interested in the co-evolution of humans with their microbiomes

Our basic science investigates the evolutionary history of gut microbes, how they have adapted to life inside humans, and how they affect human biology and health.

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Latest News

The Bayer Foundation announced today that Ruth Ley is the 2020 recipient of the Otto Bayer Award. We are very grateful to the foundation for this...

In this review, Taichi Suzuki takes on the challenge of thinking through how the microbiome can play a role in the process of human genetic adaptation...

Graduate students Tanja Schön, Michael Bell and Albane Ruaud won in all three categories!

Selected Publications

Suzuki T and Ley RE. The role of the microbiota in human genetic adaptation. Science 370 eaaz6827 (2020)

Johnson EL, Heaver SL, Waters JL, Kim BI, Bretin A, Goodman AL, Gewirtz AT, Worgall TS and Ley RE. Sphingolipids produced by gut bacteria enter host metabolic pathways impacting ceramide levels. Nature Communications 11:2471 (2020)

Ruaud A, Esquivel-Elizondo S, de la Cuesta-Zuluaga J, Waters JL,  Angenent LT, Youngblut ND and Ley RE: Syntrophy via interspecies H2 transfer between Christensenella and Methanobrevibacter underlies their global co-occurrence in the human gut. mBio, 11 e03235-19 (2020)

Youngblut ND, Reischer GH, Walters W, Schuster N, Walzer C, Stalder, G, Ley RE and Farnleitner AH: Host diet and evolutionary history explain different aspects of gut microbiome diversity among vertebrate clades. Nature Communications 10: 2200. (2019)

Poole AC, Goodrich JK, Youngblut ND, Luque GG, Ruaud A, Sutter JL, Waters JL, Shi Q, El-Hadidi M, Johnson LM, Bar HY, Huson DH, Booth JG and Ley RE : Human salivary amylase gene copy number impacts oral and gut microbiomes. Cell Host & Microbe 25: 553-564 (2019).

Moreno-Gallego JL, Chou SP, Di Rienzi SC, Goodrich JK, Spector T, Bell JT, Youngblut N, Hewson I, Reyes A and Ley RE: Virome diversity correlates with intestinal microbiome diversity in adult monozygotic twins. Cell Host & Microbe 25: 261-272. (2019).

Goodrich JK, Waters JL, Poole AC, Sutter JL, Koren O, Blekhman R, Beaumont M, Van Treuren W, Knight R, Bell JT, Spector TD, Clark AG and Ley RE: Human genetics shape the gut microbiome. Cell 159: 789-799. (2014).