Center Faculty

DMC faculty have primary appointments in a range of Schools and Institutes across Duke University, including the Duke School of Medicine, the Nicholas School for the Environment, the Pratt School of Engineering, the Duke Marine Laboratories, Duke Departments of Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology, and the School of Arts and Sciences. Duke faculty members interested in affiliating with the Duke Microbiome Center please contact Cindy Wicker.

PhotoFaculty ProfileDepartment
Cindy Amundsen
Roy T. Parker, M.D. Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, in the School of Medicine
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Jason W. Arnold, PhD.
Assistant Research Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Assistant Director, Duke Microbiome Center

Microorganisms are present in almost all environments, and the full extent of their impact on their hosts and surroundings are largely unknown. A better understanding of how microorganisms and microbial communities interact with their environments and hosts will provide immeasurable insights into all aspects of biomedical and environmental research. I’m broadly interested in expanding accessibility and feasibility of microbiome research to scientists across disciplines and help to provide experimental and computational support at all stages of microbiome-focused projects.
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Shahla Bari.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Medicine/Medical Oncology
Ana P. Barros, PhD
Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Emily S. Bernhardt
James B. Duke Distinguished Professor, Department of Biology, Duke University

Dr. Bernhardt is an ecosystem ecologist and biogeochemist whose research examines how elements move through ecosystems. Much of the biological work done to move elements between organisms and between different molecules is accomplished by microbes, and, in turn the presence and absence of microbial taxa in ecosystems is both a cause and consequence of the loading and form of elements necessary for nutrition and those that are toxic to life. Many members of Dr. Bernhardt's research group are engaged in biogeographical and experimental examination of environmental microbiome and the effort to link microbial community composition to ecosystem functions.
Staci Bilbo, PhD
Haley Family Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience and Neurobiology
Diego V. Bohórquez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine and Neurobiology

I am a neuroscientist recognized for the discovery of a neural circuit that serves as the basis of gut brain sensory transduction. At
Duke University, I lead a research team built with the vision to treat the brain from the gut. Our mission is to dissect gut-brain
circuits underlying behaviors to improve health. Beyond the laboratory, I founded Gastronauts Foundation Inc. - a global venue
to disseminate knowledge on gut brain matters.
Department of Medicine and Neurobiolgy
Adela Rambi Cardones, MD
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology
Department of Dermatology
Jen-Tsan Ashley Chi, PhD
Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Akiko Chiba, MD, FACS.
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Surgical Oncology
Member, Duke Cancer Institute

I am a breast surgical oncologist. My research interests includes evaluation of the microbiome of the breast tissue and the role in breast tumorigenesis. Modulations of breast microbiota may be potential target for improved treatment effects as well as breast cancer prevention. I have interest in interventions such as diet modification, supplements, and probiotics to evaluate the potential of using microbiome for breast cancer prevention and modulation of treatment effects.
Lawrence David, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Co-Director, Duke Microbiome Center
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Jeseth Delgado Vela, PhD
Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The goal of my research is to combine process modeling and molecular biology to understand
the urban water cycle, particularly microbial ecology within wastewater treatment systems. I
leverage tools in bioinformatics alongside lab-scale bioreactor experiments and full-scale
sampling to evaluate microbial community interactions and dynamics. My research group seeks
to develop a fundamental understanding of how microbes communicate and apply this
knowledge to better (1) use biofilm processes within engineered urban water systems and (2)
understand and harness emerging nitrogen cycling organisms within wastewater systems.
The Duke Microbiome Center (DMC) is highly attractive to me and was part of the motivation to
join Duke University. I apply microbial community ‘omic approaches to wastewater communities.
I am an affiliate of the NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) on Precision Microbiome
Engineering (PreMiEr). I was recently an invited guest instructor at the Workshop on Clinical and
Environmental Metagenome Analysis (CINEMA), hosted by the Rice Global Paris Center. I am
currently offering a graduate level course on microbial community ‘omics, which was circulated
to DMC membership and has a highly interdisciplinary student body. I hope to continue offering
this course, at a minimum every other spring semester. I would like to join the DMC to build new
interdisciplinary collaborations, to help stay abreast of new technologies and bioinformatic
approaches and integrate these into both my research and teaching, and to gain access to
events, seminars, and research forums.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Emily Derbyshire.
Associate Professor, Duke University, Departments of Chemistry
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

The Derbyshire Lab uses chemical tools and biological methods to uncover novel aspects of malaria parasite biology with the ultimate aim of identifying druggable targets. These parasites rely on female mosquitos for transmission from one host to another, where they complete a critical developmental stage in the midgut. At this time, bacteria have unique opportunities to interact with the parasites to influence disease transmission. We investigate metabolites contained within mosquito microbiome members, and how these small molecules may influence mosquito longevity or parasite viability.
Fred Dietrich, PhD
Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Murali Doraiswamy, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in Medicine

My lab is studying the role of the Microbiome in Alzheimer's disease. We conduct observational studies as well as clinical trials of microbiome modulation.
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Christine Drea, Ph.D.
Bass Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Department of Biology,
Program in Ecology,
Duke Institute for Brain Sciences,
Duke Microbiome Center

Our interests in the function, evolution, mechanisms, and development of mammalian social behavior include the study of symbiotic microbes that inhabit animal bodies and mediate host health and behavioral ecology. Using experimental and field studies conducted in Africa and at the Duke Lemur Center, we examine the bacterial (and fungal) assemblages in the gut, glands, and skin of social carnivores and primates in relation to (1) host demographic and life-history variables (e.g. species, sex, age, social status, group membership, reproductive state), (2) host health (e.g. contraceptive use, antibiotic exposure, antibiotic resistance, parasitism), (3) volatile chemical signals used in host olfactory communication, and (4) environmental variables (e.g. diet, habitat quality, anthropogenic disturbance). The investigation of animal-microbial interactions is changing our understanding of behavioral ecology, with applied relevance to animal welfare and wildlife conservation.
Evolutionary Anthropology

Ryan Emanuel

Ryan Emanuel is a hydrologist and community-engaged scholar who is interested in how climate change, land-use change, and other human-driven phenomena influence environmental processes and interactions between people and the environment. His prior microbiome-related research falls within this broad area of interest, and it touches on questions related to soil carbon cycling and water pollution. Specifically, he has been involved in research on soil microbial communities in the Mountain West aimed at understanding how methanotrophic and methanogenic bacteria are distributed across forested mountain landscapes. He has also been involved in research on microbial contamination of surface waters following tropical storm-related flooding in eastern North Carolina. His future plans for microbiome-related research include studying the spread of microbial contamination from industrial livestock facilities during non-flood periods. He also plans to study the distribution of methanogenic and methanotrophic bacteria in rural, agricultural landscapes.
Environmental Sciences and Policy - Nicholas School of the Environment
Jean Philippe Gibert, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology
Josh Granek, PhD
Assistant Professor in Biostatistics & Bioinformatics
Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Claudia K. Gunsch, Ph.D., F.EWRI
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and NSF Precision Microbiome Engineering (PreMiEr) ERC Director
Associate Director, Duke Microbiome Center

Dr. Gunsch’s research bridges environmental engineering and molecular biotechnology. Current research foci include developing microbiome engineering approaches for the built environment and bioremediation, investigating the ecological impacts of emerging contaminants on environmental microbiomes, studying microbial evolution following exposure to anthropogenic contaminants and developing innovative water treatment technologies
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Shuo Han, Ph.D. .
Assistant Professor, Departments of Biochemistry, and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
Senior Fellow, Duke Aging Center

The human gut microbiota represents incredible genetic and metabolic diversity that impacts our gastrointestinal health and systemic immunity. As our microbiota alters in diversity as we age, how does it impact our health? At the community level, fecal microbiota transplantation from healthy donors improves healthspan and lifespan of aging cohorts in mouse and fish models. At the species level, probiotic supplementation extends lifespan in both C. elegans and mice. While the gut microbiota contributes to age-associated physiology in its host organisms, we do not yet understand: 1) which gut bacterial species in the community promote healthy aging in the host, and 2) how do bacterial and host metabolic pathways play a role in this process? We will leverage metabolomics, microbiology, and genetics to define the regulation of host physiology by the gut microbiota, at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels. We aim to identify novel molecular mechanisms of gut microbe-host interactions and develop methods of intervention that would ameliorate age-associated health decline in the mammalian host.
Department of Biochemistry
Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD.
Chair, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
James B. Duke Professor, Departments of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (MGM), Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, and Medicine
Director, Tri-Institutional (Duke, UNC, NC State) Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program (Tri-I MMPTP)
Co-Director and Fellow, CIFAR Fungal Kingdom: Threats & Opportunities
Duke University Medical Center

Dr. Heitman’s research program focuses on the evolution and pathogenesis of fungi that infect humans. This includes fungi that are resident on the skin and other niches in the body including Malassezia, Candida auris, and the dermatoohytes. Areas of interest include evolution and function of mating-type loci, sexual reproduction, signal transduction pathways that sense the host and are targets for therapy, epimutation drug resistance via RNAi, functions of calcineurin and TOR, and fungal genome evolution.
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Sarah Heston, MD.
Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases

I am a Pediatric Transplant Infectious Diseases physician interested in how the microbiome contributes to the risk of infections in immunocompromised children. My current research focuses on the gut microbiome after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in children and how it contributes to the development of mucosal barrier injury bloodstream infections and graft-versus-host-disease. Ultimately, I aim to develop microbiome-targeted therapies to reduce the risk of infections and improve clinical outcomes in children undergoing HCT.
Breanna L. Hughes, MD, MSc
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dana Hunt, PhD
Associate Professor of Microbial Ecology
Marine Science and Conservation

The Hunt lab’s research focus is on understanding the ecology of microbes through examination of their genes and lifestyles. Bacteria are the most diverse organisms on earth and play a pivotal role in planetary cycling of nutrients and energy. Yet, we have a poor understanding of the factors that drive their diversity and dynamics in the environment. We are specifically studying bacterial interactions with the environment at the appropriate temporal and spatial scale including the effect of temperature changes on bacterial populations and bacterial interactions with other organisms
Nicholas School of the Environment
Jillian Hurst, PhD.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases
Director, Duke Children’s Health & Discovery Initiative

Early life exposure to and colonization with microbes has a profound influence on the education of the immune system and susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections later in life. My research is focused on the influence of the upper respiratory microbiome on the development of recurrent respiratory infections, including acute otitis media (AOM), the leading cause of antibiotic prescriptions and healthcare consultations among children. Importantly, some children develop recurrent infections that are thought to be linked to dysbiosis of the nasopharyngeal microbiome. My overarching goals are to identify alterations in the upper respiratory microbiome associated with AOM and to elucidate host factors and exposures that predispose some children to the development of recurrent AOM episodes.

Jennifer L. Ingram, PhD..
Associate Professor of Medicine and Pathology
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Ingram's lab is interested in investigating the unique gut and lung microbiome changes that occur in co-morbid asthma and obesity that contribute to increased airways hyperresponsiveness, inflammation and remodeling. We hope to learn more about the ways that the gut and lung microbiomes are altered with bariatric surgery and how these changes may facilitate asthma outcome improvements in patients with obesity. In collaboration with Dr. Claudia Gunsch at Duke University, Dr. Ingram's lab utilizes both human airway and gut sampling and mouse models of allergic airways disease and bariatric surgery to identify specific microbial taxa associated with asthma pathobiology in the setting of obesity.
Department of Medicine
Ru-Rong Ji, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Anesthesiology, in the School of Medicine
Anesthesiology, Cell Biology, and Neurobiology
Zackary Johnson
Associate Professor of Biological Oceanography and Marine Biotechnology

The Johnson Lab broadly studies the abundance, diversity and activity of marine microbes. We are biological (microbial) oceanographers, marine molecular ecologists, marine microbiologists, phycologists, and biogeochemists. Our environmental research, which is at the intersection of marine ecology and biogeochemistry, focuses on the marine cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus, the most abundant phytoplankton in the open oceans and an excellent model marine microbe. We also have substantial efforts in the biotechnological application of marine microalgae (and its associated microbiome) for aquaculture towards the sustainable production of feed, food and fuel. We are at the Marine Laboratory, which is part of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University
Nicholas School of the Environment/ Biology
Matthew Kelly, M.D., M.P.H..
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Global Health, and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Associate Director, Duke Microbiome Center

Dr. Kelly’s research uses innovative computational and experimental techniques to ask fundamental questions about how the complex microbial communities of the human body influence infection susceptibility and severity among children. His long-term career goal is to develop novel microbiome-based strategies for the prevention and treatment of childhood infections, particularly those for which the highest burden is among children in low- and middle-income countries. Current projects are focused on understanding the mechanisms by which commensal microbes in the upper respiratory tract modify the risk and severity of childhood respiratory infections. Dr. Kelly also has active research programs investigating SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and the effect of the gut microbiome on outcomes of pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.
So Young Kim, PhD.
Director, Duke Microbiome Core Facility
Director, Duke Functional Genomics Core Facility
Associate Research Professor
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

I serve as Director of the Duke Microbiome Core Facility, which provides services to support the studies of Microbiome researchers at Duke and beyond. We work closely with our Microbiome investigators to provide expertise in processing and analysis of diverse biological samples, including stool, saliva, tissue and environmental samples. Our facility is also actively pursuing collaborations to develop and establish additional methodologies to enhance the capabilities and resources available for Microbiome analysis on campus.
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Rebecca Knackstedt, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Department of Surgery
Francois Lutzoni, PhD
Professor of Biology
Michael D. Lynch, PhD
W. H. Gardner, Jr. Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Li Ma, PhD
Professor of Statistical Science
Department of Statistical Science
Paul Magwene, PhD
Professor of Biology
Julia Messina, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Charles L. Nunn, Ph.D.
Gosnell Family Professor in Global Health
Department of Evolutionary Anthropology & Duke Global Health Institute
Director of Graduate Studies, Evolutionary Anthropology

"Charles Nunn conducts research in disease ecology, evolutionary medicine, and global health. In Madagascar, he investigates how land use change and market integration influences microbial dynamics in humans and other animals, including studies of the gut and skin microbiomes. In comparative research, Nunn investigates zoonotic disease emergence in humans and the predictors of cross-species transmission. In all our research, Nunn takes an interdisciplinary approach to advance evolutionary perspectives on societally important questions, including research in One Health and pandemic prevention."
Evolutionary Anthropology
Sweta Patel, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Prof Sheng-Yang He, Ph.D.
Benjamin E. Powell Distinguished Professor of Biology;
Biology Department, Duke University

To flourish in a microbe-rich world, higher eukaryotic organisms have evolved sophisticated signaling, metabolic, and structural pathways configured to promote beneficial microbiomes, while simultaneously resisting pathogen attack. Millions of years of co-evolution between hosts and microbes have resulted in a fascinating world of attack, counter-attack, deception, and hijacking mechanisms, all of which are essential to our understanding of life on Earth. In our lab, we probe these intricate host-microbe interactions primarily using a model system consisting of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, its microbiome, and the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae.
John F. Rawls, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, & Medicine
Director, Duke Microbiome Center

Our laboratory seeks to understand how intestinal microbiota contribute to vertebrate digestive physiology, inflammation, nutrition, and energy balance. We apply gnotobiotic, in vivo imaging, genetic, and functional genomic approaches in zebrafish and mice to determine how gut microbes interact with vertebrate hosts to regulate those processes.
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Daniel Reker, Sc.D
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Daniel Rittschof. N.L. Christensen Distinguished Professor of the Environment
MSC, Nicholas School, ITEHP Nicholas School, UPE, Biology, Trinity; Graduat School, Duke Microbiome Center

My scholarship focuses on the evolution of chemical communication, external signal molecules, animal behavior, chemical ecology, biofouling, toxicology, and the organization of marine communities by peptides. My practical interests are broad and include extensive collaborative interactions with a variety of engineers and their interests and novel materials. I interface with many engineering interests through an invertebrate animal model, barnacles of all life stages. The model is used for basic research, toxicology and challenges to novel materials with a biological glue which cures by a mechanism similar to blood clotting. My interests in microbiome science is through the interaction of microbes with macrobes. At present I am excited about what I call functional microbiomes. I identify the microbes present and use several different proteomic techniques to identify the exoenzymes responsible for generating external molecular signals. I believe in the importance of translating science into policy and am increasingly active in the quest for partial solutions to major environmental challenges.
Nicholas School of the Environment
Jatin Roper, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology
Laurie Sanders, PhD
Associate Professor in Neurology
Lisa Satterwhite, PhD
Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Amy Schmid, PhD
David M. Goodner Associate Professor, Department of Biology
Biology/ Center for System Biology
Mara Serbanescu

I am an intensivist and anesthesiologist with a research interest in identifying how host:microbe interactions influence immune and inflammatory responses in critically ill and post-surgical patients. A better understanding of microbiota-immune crosstalk in this patient population has the potential to influence both prognosis and the development of microbiota-targeted therapies. Using a mouse model of severe inflammation, I have previously identified that certain changes in the gut microbiota enhance the entry of gut-derived microbial DNA products in the blood, thus influencing the degree of inflammation. Now transitioned to the translational/clinical research space, I am investigating how – in critically ill patients with intestinal barrier dysfunction induced by trauma, sepsis, or surgery – gut microbial composition and translocation shapes immune dynamics and clinical outcomes.
Keri Seymour, DO, MHSc, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Department of Surgery

The goal of my research is to promote further collaboration between the medical and surgical fields treating obesity related diseases. My clinical research interests include foregut physiology, obesity, weight loss surgery, and surgical outcomes. During my general surgery residency, I was involved in basic science research in vascular physiology. As principal investigator on society grants, I investigated atherosclerosis, obesity, and motility of vascular smooth muscle cells. As a junior faculty member, I am interested in studying the metabolic effects of surgery on gastrointestinal physiology, obesity, and diseases associated with obesity, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and gut dysbiosis. Currently, I am collaborating with several Duke scientists to evaluate the metabolic impact of surgery, including the interaction with the gut microbiome.
Pixu Shi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

My research centers around the statistical challenges arising in modern microbiome research and genomics. Due to the unique characteristics of the microbiome and genomic data generated by next-generation sequencing technologies, classical statistical methods are often unsuitable or inapplicable. To address such issues, I have developed several statistical methods for the analysis of microbiome data and genomic data. My current research interests include the dimension reduction and association analysis of longitudinal microbiome data, analysis of spatial transcriptomic and metabolomic data, and integration of multi-omic data.
Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Nazema Y. Siddiqui, MD, MHSc
Associate Professor
Division of Urogynecology & Reproductive Pelvic Surgery
Adjunct, Division of Reproductive Sciences
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Duke University School of Medicine

My research focuses on the translational biology of urologic disorders that are common in postmenopausal women, such as urgency urinary incontinence, and recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). For both of these issues, the urinary microbiome has been implicated as a potential causative or exacerbating factor. Therefore, our research group has become focused on characterizing age-related changes in the urinary microbiome, and further mechanistically defining how these alterations relate to urinary disorders.
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Anthony Sung, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
Associate Director, Duke Microbiome Center
Department of Medicine
Neil Surana, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics,
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology Member, Duke Cancer Institute

My research innovatively integrates gnotobiotic murine models, immunology, microbiology, and characterization of the microbiota with the ultimate aim of identifying specific commensal bacteria with immunomodulatory potential and subsequent characterization of their biologic effects. We have recently developed an inventive approach for identifying with high specificity organisms within the microbiota that are causally related to the phenotype of interest. Using this approach of microbe–phenotype triangulation, we identified Clostridium immunis, a new bacterial species that protects against colitis and obesity in murine models, and two bacterial species that induce host expression of a critical antimicrobial peptide. We are now using a combination of bacterial genetics, biochemical approaches, and mouse models to investigate the molecular mechanisms—from both the bacterial and host perspectives—that underlie these host–commensal relationships. Furthermore, we are extending our discovery platform to human samples and additional disease processes to identify more causal microbes.
Steve Tayler, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Medicine-Infectious Diseases
David Tobin, PhD
Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Jenny Tung
Director of the Department for Primate Behavior and Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany
Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Biology

Research in the Tung Lab focuses on primate behavior, evolution, and genetics, especially the causes and consequences of social interactions. As part of this work, we explore how social group structure, social relationships, ecology, and genotype structure the gut microbiome in wild baboons, the subjects of long-running field study in Kenya. "
Raphael H. Valdivia
Nanaline Duke Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Professor and Chari, Department of Immunology
Valdivia Lab

My laboratory studies the gut commensal mucophilic bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila, which has emerged as next generation probiotic based on its association with positive health outcomes in humans. We generated genetic tools to understand the molecular mechanisms used by this microbe to consume intestinal mucins, colonize the gastrointestinal tract, interact with other members of the microbiota, and ultimately influence the immunological and metabolic health of its host. We also are engineering these microbes to enhance their health-promoting activities and leverage them as potential immunomodulators for applications ranging from neurological disorders, to infection diseases and cancer immunotherapies.

Rytas Vilgalys, PhD
Professor of Biology
Yun Wang, PhD
Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Jennifer Wernegreen, PhD
Lee Hill Snowdon Associate Professor
Environmental Sciences and Policy
Nicholas School of the Environment
Paul Wischmeyer M.D., E.D.I.C., FASPEN, FCCM
Professor of Anesthesiology and Surgery
Associate Vice Chair for Clinical Research, Dept. of Anesthesiology
Physician Director, TPN/Nutrition Support Service, DUH
Duke University School of Medicine

Paul E. Wischmeyer, MD, EDIC, FCCM, FASPEN is a critical care, perioperative and nutrition physician who serves as a Professor with Tenure of Anesthesiology and Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine. He also serves as the Associate Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Dept. of Anesthesiology & Director of the Nutrition Team at Duke Hospital. Dr. Wischmeyer’s clinical and research focus is focused helping patients prepare and recover from critical illness and surgery. His research interests include surgical and ICU nutrition and exercise rehabilitation therapy, parenteral nutrition and personalized nutrition trials, perioperative optimization, post-illness muscle mass and functional recovery, and role of probiotics/microbiome in illness, specifically COVID-19 prevention/treatment. Dr. Wischmeyer has received numerous awards for his work from national and international societies, including the Jeffrey Silverstein Award and Memorial Lecture for Humanism in Medicine from the American Delirium Society, Fellow of Society of Critical Care Medicine (FCCM), the John M. Kinney Award for the most significant contribution to the field of general nutrition, the Stanley Dudrick Research Scholar Award of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition where he is also an honorary Fellow of ASPEN (FASPEN). In 2020 he received the ASPEN George Blackburn Clinical Nutrition Mentorship Award, as well as the Excellence in Nutrition Support Education Award from the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, and he has received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Parenteral Nutrition Education and Methodology Advancement for significant contributions to the field of nutrition. He has over 200 publications (H index-67 and 50 papers with > 100 citations) in nutrition, critical care, and perioperative care, including publications in New England Journal of Medicine. He has been an invited speaker at numerous national/international medical meetings, delivering over 1000 invited presentations in his career. Finally, he is an advocate and lecturer for improving the patient experience and teaching provider’s to keep CARE as the focus of healthcare

Department of Medicine/ Anesthesiology and Surgery
Justin Wright
Professor of Biology and Graduate Dean of Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

My research program explores the causes and consequences of patterns of biological diversity across the planet. We combine observational and experimental approaches with modeling to develop and test hypotheses and build towards synthetic ecological theory. We are particularly interested in how global change is altering disturbance and recovery from disturbance. We have examined microbial responses both as a model system for studying these processes and as a critical driver in determining trajectories of recovery, particularly focusing on plant-soil feedbacks.

Anne D. Yoder
Braxton Craven Professor of Evolutionary Biology
Department of Biology
University Program in Genetics and Genomics

Evolutionary dynamics of the gut microbiome in lemurs. Lemurs and other animals are inhabited by microbial communities that together are referred to as "the microbiome." These microbiomes can provide both benefits and costs to their host. Indeed, many of the methods and terms currently used to describe animal microbiomes derive from ecology and evolutionary biology, and my lab group – especially via one of my previous Ph.D. students, Erin McKenney –has been instrumental in developing evolutionary perspectives for interpreting host/microbiome interactions. As our understanding of the composition and functional dynamics of the microbiome grows, we increasingly refer to the host as an ecosystem within which microbial processes play out. In collaboration with current and former trainees, my work has shown that host diet and gut morphology select for specific microbial community membership and functions to complement the host feeding strategy. Synergistically, the microbiome adapts to exploit available resources while minimizing negative impact on the host. My group employs an integrative approach that examines host nutritional intake, microbial community composition, metagenomic profiles, and metabolite production to provide a comparative and multidimensional perspective on the coevolutionary dynamics between host and microbiome.

Biology/ Duke Lemur Center
Lingchong You, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Noelle Younge
Jean and George W. Brumley, Jr., M.D. Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

As a neonatologist, I am interested in understanding how the intestinal microbiome contributes to health and development in infancy. My research focuses on the role of the microbiome in supporting postnatal growth and nutrition of infants born extremely premature
Jennifer Yunyan Zhang, PhD
Professor of Department of Dermatology
Professor of Department of Pathology
Duke School of Medicine
Duke Cancer Institute
Duke Regeneration Center

Epidermis of the skin is comprised of stratified epithelial cells that interface with both the immune cells and the cutaneous microbiome. We seek to understand how dysregulation of epidermal cell signaling leads to skin inflammation, reduced antiviral immunity, and cancer. We are also interested in exploring whether and how certain genetic defects of the skin contributes to cutaneous microbial dysbiosis which in turn exacerbates skin inflammation.

Nancy Zucker, PhD
Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

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