ALEX KOSTIC, Principal Investigator

My background and training is in computational biology, microbiology, and immunology. During my PhD thesis work with Matthew Meyerson and Wendy Garrett, we discovered an association between colorectal cancer and the gut microbiome constituent Fusobacterium nucleatum. We demonstrated that Fusobacterium accelerated intestinal tumorigenesis by a mechanism involving altered immune cell recruitment to the tumor, which we established after developing a mouse model with a humanized microbiome. As a postdoctoral fellow at Broad Institute working with Ramnik Xavier and Curtis Huttenhower, I worked to characterize the developing infant gut microbiome in dense, longitudinal metagenomic analyses of birth cohorts at risk for type 1 diabetes. We discovered a novel mechanism by which the human microbiome directly influences immune development and progression to type 1 diabetes. In my new lab, we focus on simplified microbial communities in gnotobiotic mice to discover basic lines of microbiome-host communication necessary for homeostasis and that underlie autoimmune disease.

Background

  • 2008 Hon.B.Sc. Molecular Biology, University of Toronto
  • 2013 Ph.D., Biological & Biomedical Sciences, Harvard University
  • 2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard
  • Assistant Investigator, Joslin Diabetes Center
  • Member of the Faculty, Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology Harvard Medical School

MATTHEW COXE, Laboratory Manager

I’m a molecular biologist focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of disease. I aim to support and conduct biomedical research that paves the way for development of new therapies. This goal alongside my concentrated interest in microbiology has brought me to the Kostic lab at Joslin Diabetes center where my efforts will be directed towards elucidating the role of the gut microbiome in the development of type 1 diabetes.

Background

  • University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT Masters of Science, Molecular and Cell Biology, May 2016 Concentration: Microbiology
  • University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT Bachelors of Science, Molecular and Cell Biology, May 2013

JACOB LUBER, Graduate Student

I am a PhD student in the Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics (BIG) Program at Harvard Medical School in The Division of Medical Sciences under the aegis of The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. I am a member of the Kostic Lab at the Joslin Diabetes Center where I work on elucidating host-gut microbiome interactions that lead to autoimmunity by integrating machine learning techniques with rapid experimental validation methods that leverage emerging sequencing technologies. My research interests are metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, host-microbe interactions, sequencing technologies, functional genomics, machine learning, ontology evaluation, genome structure, and personalized genomic medicine.

Background

  • Trinity University, San Antonio, TX Bachelors of Science, May 2016

MARSHA WIBOWO, Rotation Student

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Background

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA Bachelors of Science, Biology, May 2016

JACOB GIBSON, Rotation Student

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Background

  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI Bachelors of Science, Biology, May 2016

TAO XU, Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a molecular geneticist with expertise in molecular biology, bioengineering, and microbiology. My current research focuses on screening gut microbes that are actively involved in immune modulation, and more importantly, mining traits-conferring genes or gene clusters from isolates for the production of therapeutic molecules or the construction of genetically engineered cells to fight type 1 diabetes.

Background

  • University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK Ph.D., Microbiology, December 2016
  • Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China Masters of Science, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2011
  • School of Resources Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha, China Bachelors of Science, Bioengineering, May 2008

ARANCHA HEVIA GONZALEZ, Postdoctoral Fellow

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Background

  • Spanish National Research Council (IPLA-CSIC), Villaviciosa, Spain Ph.D., Microbiology, June 2016
  • University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain Masters of Science, Food Biotechnology, 2012
  • University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain Bachelors of Science, Biochemistry, 2010