Tom Schmidt

The Center for Microbial Systems is developing in response to growing appreciation of the impact that microbes have on the functioning of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, their pivotal role as host-associated communities, and our potential to create and manage communities for our common good.

Recognition of the incredible impact of microbiology in diverse disciplines led to a cluster hire of faculty members in Microbial Ecology and a cross-campus effort to reinvigorate the undergraduate major in Microbiology at the University of Michigan. These efforts also made it clear that there were many scientists already on campus studying different aspects of microbes and microbial communities and that uniting this breadth of expertise could catalyze new discoveries.

The mission of the Center is to promote the elucidation of principles underlying the structure, functions and dynamics of microbial communities, particularly those that can be used to manage communities for beneficial outcomes in human health and the environment.

To achieve this mission, we are helping students, scientists, physicians and engineers from across the university combine their interests and expertises to unravel the mysteries of the microbial world.

Attracted by the accelerating progress in the Microbial Sciences, I joined the University of Michigan in 2013 to help establish this Center. Please feel free to contact me with ideas, questions or suggestions about how we might better lead the way to discoveries in the incredible world of microbes.

Tom Schmidt