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Judges Bios

Baylor College of Medicine
January 2014 – Present (2 months)Houston, Texas Area
Working in the Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research, led by Director, Dr. Joseph Petrosino

RESEARCH INTERESTS
Suzanne received her Ph.D. in 1997 from Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Following postdoctoral studies she joined QIAGEN in 2001 as a member of Technical Support followed by Invitrogen in 2006 in marketing for nucleic acid purification products. In 2008 she became Director of Research and Development for MO BIO Laboratories, where she led the development and launch of over 30 products
 including two patent applications.  Suzanne is the co-editor

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Argonne National Laboratory. University of Chicago
Department of Ecology & Evolution
IL, United States

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Microbial communities: temporal and biogeographic structure

Coming primarily from a marine background I have been very interested in how bacteria exist in such a fluid matrix. Specifically, what determines how microbes exist when the medium in which they live is moving around so much? My research site in the Western English Channel has demonstrated that even though the sampling location is flushed with new water every two weeks, the same communities of microbes appear year after year.

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Earth Sciences Division
Ecology Department
CA, United States

RESEARCH INTERESTS

The overarching aim of my research is to gain a better understanding of key functions carried out by microorganisms in complex microbial communities, such as those residing in soil, sediment and the human gut, by employing state-of-the-art and novel “omics” approaches. These tools are implemented with bioinformatics and statistics using super computing facilities to tackle increasingly large and complex meta-omic datasets. One specific research area that we are addressing in my group is to use omics to better understand the role of soil microorganisms in cycling of carbon and how these functions are perturbed in the face of a changing climate.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Rob Knight is integrating concepts from evolutionary biology and ecology with high-throughput sequencing to study molecular diversity. He is especially interested in understanding how the human microbiome develops and how variation in the microbiome affects health and disease.

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joe-PetrosinoDepartment of Molecular Virology & Microbiology
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas

RESEARCH INTERESTS

My research focuses on how the environmental and human microbiota are associated with health and disease with the goal of implementing new diagnostic and therapeutic measures based on the role of the microbiome in each context. Microbiome based diagnostics may provide a more sensitive method for detecting and characterizing certain diseases and/or predicting susceptibility to others so that appropriate precautions can be made (for example, taking a probiotic or antibiotic when traveling when it’s known that an individual is highly susceptible to travelers’ diarrhea or Norwalk virus infection). Just as human genome sequencing can contribute to an individualized profile that is medically actionable, the microbiome soon too will assist doctors in the era of personalized medicine.

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JonathanEisen

University of California, Davis
UC Davis Genome Center, the School of Medicine 
and the College of Biological Sciences.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

 Dr. Eisen’s research focuses on communities of microbes and how they provide new functions - to each other or to a host. His study systems have included boiling acid pools, surface ocean waters, agents of many diseases, and the microbial ecosystems in and on plants and animals. He is also coordinating the largest microbial sequencing project to date – a Genomic Encyclopedia – being done at the DOE Joint Genome Institute where he holds an Adjunct Appointment.

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fiona-walsh

National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Department of Biology
Maynooth, Ireland

RESEARCH INTERESTS

The main research focuses in my laboratory are changing microbiomes and antibiotic resistance and discovery. I started out by investigating the changes in a single species of bacteria, mostly human pathogens caused by antibiotics. When I moved to investigate the influence of antibiotic use in agriculture on the development and selection of resistance, I realized that looking at single species would no longer be sufficient. This is where my interest in microbiomes started. I could investigate if the use of antibiotics changed the entire bacterial community of soil or on a plant using microbiome analyses without being restricted to culturable bacteria. The research of this laboratory investigates different microbiomes: human, animal and environmental. I have recently also developed collaborations with immunologists to investigate how the microbiome affects immune responses and

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