I am a postdoctoral scientist in Ruth Ley’s group at the Max Planck Institute, Department of Microbiome Sciences in Tübingen, Germany. I received a Ph.D. at Brown University in the USA studying the microbiology of fish farms, then worked briefly in the start-up environment commercializing an aquaculture probiotic.
My current research is focused on the bacterial genus Bifidobacterium. Studies on adult twins suggest a strong association between Bifidobacteria and host genomes, particularly at regions that regulate diary metabolism in adults. Our goal is to determine the relative influence of host genetics, diet, and Bifidobacteria on diary consumption and lactose tolerance across a wide range of human ethnicities. Ultimately this data will help us understand the microbiome’s role in human evolution more broadly and guide efforts in microbial therapeutics.
I am currently leading projects at each of our three sampling locations - Gabon, Germany, and Vietnam - targeting breastfeeding mothers and their infants.