Gechlang Tang

Master's Student

I am a Master’s student from the Genetic Epidemiology program at the University of Washington.


I graduated from the Royal University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia in 2021 with a B.S. in Bioengineering. During my undergraduate studies, I worked on a research project investigating the antibacterial activity of Psidium guajava L. leaf extracts on gram-positive bacteria isolated from skin to assess the inhibitory and bactericidal qualities of guava leaf extracts of three different solvents against the susceptibility of skin bacterial isolates. Following my graduation, I joined the molecular unit at the Cambodian laboratory of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) as a laboratory technician. I partook in a public health surveillance molecular research aimed not only at preventing and controlling infectious disease outbreaks but also at enhancing the limited diagnostic capactiy of Cambodian public health laboratories. This was achieved through the identification of the lesser-known pathogens and studying their genes and genomes using metagenomic next-generation sequencing. During my time at NIAID, my work involved various molecular assays and techniques, from DNA/RNA extraction and PCR to the sequencing workflow. After that, I was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to pursue my Master’s degree at UW.


In the Gibbons lab, I am particularly interested in developing new data-driven approaches to quantifying absolute microbial biomass levels in the human gut. My research aims to infer and validate total bacterial biomass from stool metagenomic data and obtain a more accurate assessment of the bacterial biomass via this metagenomic-based metric that could be applied to existing datasets and provide novel insights into host-microbiome interactions if successful.


In my free time, I enjoy reading at coffee shops and shopping and spending time indoors resting and doing housework.