In ISB’s first-ever Research Roundtable event, Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons delivered a presentation titled “Gut-Check: Personalized Nutrition and Your Microbiome.” His talk covered a lot of ground, including recently published research showing how the health of our microbiomes can predict longevity, and how we can build and maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
ISB’s research into the aging microbiome was featured in a story published by Anahad O’Connor for The New York Times titled “A Changing Gut Microbiome May Predict How Well You Age.” The research featured was published in Nature Metabolism by Drs. Tomasz Wilmanksi, Noa Rappaport, Sean Gibbons and Nathan Price.
The gut microbiome is an integral component of the body, but its importance in the human aging process is unclear. ISB researchers and their collaborators have identified distinct signatures in the gut microbiome that are associated with either healthy or unhealthy aging trajectories, which in turn predict survival in a population of older individuals.
ISB researchers examined the associations between the gut microbiomes of about 3,400 people and roughly 150 host characteristics. The team looked at diet, medication use, clinical blood markers, and other lifestyle and clinical factors, and found evidence that variations of the gut microbiome are associated with health and disease.
Everybody pees and poops. What if there was a way to use the byproducts of our everyday bodily functions to understand the general health of a population? That is exactly what MIT’s Dr. Eric Alm is pursuing. In an ISB-Town Hall Seattle live stream, Alm discussed the promise of this novel form of public health tracking.
Nick Bohmann joins the lab as a Ph.D. student from the Molecular Engineering and Sciences program at UW. Nick graduated from Virginia Tech in 2019 with B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering. His research interests include genome-scale metabolic modeling and ‘omics based computational biology, specifically related to the human gut microbiome. Nick’s work in the lab will focus on using computational tools to enhance the predictive capability of models of the…
James Johnson joins the lab as a bioengineering PhD student at the University of Washington (UW). James earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University. After graduating, he took a job as an R&D Associate Engineer at PepsiCo. After three years of applied science and engineering at PepsiCo, James decided to apply to the Bioengineering PhD program at UW in Seattle so that he could return to working…
How can we harness successional ecology to quickly repair antibiotic-damaged gut microbiota? ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons wrote this commentary for the journal Nature Microbiology detailing recent research that answers that question. Click the link to read the story (link will open as a new window). Illustration by Allison Kudla, PhD / ISB.
ISB’s virtual course and symposium focusing on the microbiome and its future role in precision medicine will take place on October 15 and 16. The event’s website went live earlier this week. The virtual course will be taught by Sean Gibbons, Christian Diener, Tomasz Wilmanski, Noa Rappaport, Alex Carr, Priyanka Baloni and Nathan Price. Symposium speakers are Jason Papin (University of Virginia), Ines Thiele (National University of Ireland, Galway), Thomas…
ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons recently participated in a virtual event titled “Reshaping STEM Education Toward Equitable Futures for Washington Students.” Panelists shared their insights about how to leverage this complex moment to reshape STEM education toward equity, sustainability, and prosperity for Washington state’s students — especially those furthest from opportunity.
A promising new open-source metabolic modeling tool provides microbiome researchers a path forward in predicting ecosystem function from community structure. News of the software package, called MICOM, was developed in part by researchers in ISB’s Gibbons Lab, and its uses were published in the journal mSystems.
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.
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…
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…
Freaked out about a “germy” bathroom? You don’t need to be. ISB Assistant Professor and microbiome researcher Dr. Sean Gibbons was featured prominently in an article, headlined “The Germiest Place in your Bathroom Isn’t Your Toilet,” published online by TIME.
Microbial communities are highly sensitive to their environments, which makes studying them under heterogeneous conditions difficult. Environmental perturbations (stressors) generate spatiotemporal heterogeneity in natural systems. While large databases of natural ecosystems exist (e.g. the Earth Microbiome Project or the Human Microbiome Project), there are no databases that catalog microbial ecosystems subjected to applied environmental stress. The Microbiome Stress Project (MSP) was established to build such a database and perform a…
The human microbiome is a relatively new area of research, and there are numerous questions surrounding it. What is the human microbiome? Can we change it? Does it make us sick? Keep us well? ISB Assistant Professor and microbiome researcher Dr. Sean Gibbons answers these questions — and many more.
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