Jan 21, 2022
Prebiotics and probiotics. Fecal microbiota transplants. Optimizing a diet personalized to you. These microbiome-themed topics are all around us in the media, but microbiome research remains a fairly nascent field of study and wasn’t on many people’s radars even 10 years ago.
UCSD Professor Dr. Jack Gilbert and Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons came together to tackle this exciting area of research. What have we learned over the past few years? What has gone well, and what could we do better? The two discussed some exciting developments on the horizon and share when they think people might see microbiome-based technologies in their daily lives.
Dr. Jack A. Gilbert is a Professor of Microbial Oceanography in the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Pediatrics in UCSD School of Medicine. Dr. Gilbert is also cofounder of the Earth Microbiome Project and American Gut Project, has authored more than 350 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters on microbial ecology, and is the founding Editor in Chief of mSystems journal. He has been recognized on Crain’s Business Chicago’s “40 Under 40 List,” listed as one of the 50 most influential scientists by Business Insider, and was named as one of the “Brilliant Ten” by Popular Scientist. He is the co-author of Dirt is Good, a popular science guide to the microbiome and children’s health.
Dr. Sean Gibbons is Assistant Professor at ISB. He holds a Ph.D. in biophysical sciences from the University of Chicago; his graduate work focused on using microbial communities as empirical models for testing ecological theory. Gibbons completed his postdoctoral training in Eric Alm’s laboratory in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT, where his work focused on developing techniques to quantify individual-specific eco-evolutionary dynamics within the human gut microbiome. He is particularly interested in learning how organisms in the human gut change and adapt to individual people over their lifespans, and how those changes impact health.