Host-microbiome interactions and computational metagenomics
Our lab finds patterns in microbial community genomics that link to human health. Humans have co-evolved with communities of microbes that protect us from infection by pathogens, aid in the education of our immune systems, and help us extract nutrients from food; yet only through recent advances in DNA sequencing technology have we begun to understand the vast complexity of these communities. The genetics of our microbes are unique to each of us, and yet the mixture of our microbial genes—our microbiome—has been linked to a surprising number of diseases. Human microbiomes are so important to our health that they are sometimes called our “second genome”. Our lab's work applies tools from machine learning to predict health outcomes in multi-omics assays of large patient cohorts and animal models. The methods we are developing will help lay the foundation for developing microbiome-based diagnostics and therapeutics for microbiome-related human diseases.