News

Alex Carr Joins the Lab

Alex Carr will join the Institute for Systems Biology for his PhD work, co-advised by Nitin Baliga and Sean Gibbons. Alex is a graduate student in the Molecular Engineering Program at the University of Washington. Prior to starting graduate school at UW, Alex worked in Adam Arkin’s lab at UC Berkeley, characterizing species-species interactions in synthetic gut bacterial communities. For his dissertation, Alex will pursue novel experimental and computational approaches for inferring microbe-microbe interactions.

Recent Articles

  • Using Blood to Predict Gut Microbiome Diversity

    Predicting the alpha diversity of an individual’s gut microbiome is possible by examining metabolites in the blood. The robust relationship between host metabolome and gut microbiome diversity opens the door for a fast, cheap and reliable blood test to identify individuals with low gut diversity.

  • Use and abuse of correlations

    We recently published a Perspective Article in the ISME Journal on the ‘Use and abuse of correlation analyses in microbial ecology.’ In this piece, we highlight the pitfalls of inferring microbe-microbe interactions from sequencing data. The lead author, Alex Carr, wrote a blog post titled ‘Inferring microbial interactions from relative abundance: not as easy as you would think’ detailing his inspiration for writing this perspective. You can check out the…

  • Seeing the microbiome through a host lens

    Sean recently published a commentary in the journal mSystems that outlines a vision of defining ‘microbiome health’ through a host lens: i.e. determining what exact components of the variation in the microboita influence host phenotypes. Much of the variation in the microbiome likely has nothing to do with the health state of the host, but loss/gain of critical diversity and/or functionality can have a major impact on host health. To…