This second seminar in the Dean’s Frontier Seminar series will be moderated by Harry Mobley who will give a brief overview of the Host Microbiome Initiative, followed by two outstanding 20 minutes talks given by Pat Schloss and Yvonne Huang. Pat will discuss his work on the role of the gut microbiota in driving colon tumorigenesis in mouse models and humans. Yvonne will discuss human microbiomes and asthma phenotypes, looking towards the next frontier.
Pat Schloss Bio
Dr. Schloss’s interests span the breadth of microbiome research. His work in this field can be divided into “wet” and “dry” components that are each a result of his interdisciplinary training and drive to look at microbial research questions differently. His interdisciplinary training motivated him to investigate bacteria as members of communities. This community-based approach has yielded recent publications from his laboratory where, instead of trying to link individual bacteria with pathogenesis, they seek to understand how entire microbial communities and subsets of those communities could be used to classify people by their health status or risk of disease. When he began pursuing these questions as a postdoc, the necessary computational tools to find answers were not available. So, Dr. Schloss made them. Trained as a biological engineer, he acquired the skills needed to develop several prominent computer programs for analyzing the DNA sequence data generated from microbial ecology experiments. Together, his papers describing these tools have been cited thousands of times in the literature. The ability to bridge biology and computational sciences has allowed him to leave a positive impact on a diverse array of important research questions spanning from colon cancer and Clostridium difficile infections to the soil and deep sea.
Yvonne Huang Bio
Dr. Huang completed undergraduate studies at Stanford University and obtained her M.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She did her internal medicine residency at Yale, where she was named a Yale/Johnson & Johnson Scholar in International Health. She went on to complete fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of California San Francisco, where she began studying the respiratory microbiome in cohorts of patients with asthma and COPD. She has published seminal studies in this area, including multi-center investigations sponsored by NIH asthma clinical research networks. Widely recognized for her expertise on the respiratory microbiome in asthma and COPD, she has contributed to many national and international forums, including NIH workshops, grant reviews, and recently as member of an expert panel convened by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.