Fall 2010

More news: Ruth was awarded a Packard Foundation Fellowship to study the co-evolution of gut microbiotas with the human host.  This 5-yr grant will support work exploring how host gene copy number variation, and gene sequence variation, relates to variation in the microbiome. We’re particularly interested in human genes known to have been involved in recent human evolution driven by cultural changes, such as the development of agriculture and the adoption of a high-starch diet, which brought about duplications in the amylase gene in the human genome.

Ruth Ley wins NIH Director’s New Innovator Award.  This 5-year grant will support research into the role of the adaptive immune system in shaping gut microbial diversity. We will explore immunization strategies to “reshape” pathogenic microbiomes, such as those that lead to metabolic syndrome in mice.

Two visitors have joined the lab:

Professor Jackie Nugent, from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, will be with us for a sabbatical leave of one year.

Dr. Georg Reischer, of the Vienna University of Technology, is with us for a few months to work on bacterial source tracking.

We also have a rotation student this semester: Mizue Naito, Field of Microbiology, is assisting Ayme on a study of in-vivo evolution of Veillonella populations.