Microbial 'omics

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Interested in joining? Please consider reading the lab culture and expectations first. Some information on our location and space is also here.

Current members (sorted by name) 

A. Murat Eren (Meren) bio photo

A. Murat Eren (Meren) (PI)

I am a computer scientist with a deep appreciation for the complexity of life. I design algorithms and experiments to better understand microbes and their ecology.

Abigail Schmid bio photo

Abigail Schmid (Undergraduate Researcher)

I am interested in using applied mathematics and computational techniques to answer questions about microbial life.

Alon Shaiber bio photo

Alon Shaiber (Graduate Student)

I'm a graduate student in the Bio Physical Sciences Program at UChicago. I'm fascinated by the complexity of microbial ecology and interested in applying and developing computational tools to explore it.

Andrea Watson bio photo

Andrea Watson (Graduate Student)

I am interested in combining wet lab and computational methods in a complementary way to answer microbiological questions.

Emily Fogarty bio photo

Emily Fogarty (Graduate Student)

I am interested in developing computational and wet lab strategies to study horizontal gene transfer in the human gut microbiome.

Evan Kiefl bio photo

Evan Kiefl (Graduate Student)

I am interested in uncovering how single nucleotide variants map to functional variation in the genes of naturally-occuring microbial populations.

Florian Trigodet bio photo

Florian Trigodet (Post-doctoral Scientist)

I am a microbiologist by training, and as a postdoctoral researcher I am using advanced computational strategies to make sense of the microbial ecology of complex habitats.

Iva Veseli bio photo

Iva Veseli (Graduate Student)

I am a computer scientist/biologist who likes leveraging computational methods to explore biological data. Currently, I am studying biogeography and ecology of the gut microbiome.

Joe Runde bio photo

Joe Runde (Physician Researcher, Gastroenterology Fellow)

I am interested in genome-resolved investigations of gut metagenomes of children with inflammatory bowel disease.

Karen Lolans bio photo

Karen Lolans (Senior Research Technician)

As a molecular microbiologist, I am interested in the potential that interwoven wet lab and computational strategies play in elucidating complex microbial interactions and processes.

Kota Bear bio photo

Kota Bear (Dog)

I focus on members of the family Sciuridae and Leporidae to study stress-induced behavioral changes in mammals.

  • Honorary Member.
Mahmoud Yousef bio photo

Mahmoud Yousef (Undergraduate Researcher)

I am interested in exploring the intersection of bioinformatics and medicine, and how bioinformatic techniques can be used to advance the quality of medicine.

Matthew Schechter bio photo

Matthew Schechter (Graduate Student)

I am interested in combining comparative genomics and environmental metagenomics to identify genetic determinants of fitness in microbial populations in the human gut and ocean microbiome.

Özcan C. Esen bio photo

Özcan C. Esen (Software guru, local hacker)

As a computer engineer I strive to utilize my expertise to investigate challenges in microbial ecology, metagenomics, and visualization of complex data.

Those we miss (sorted by date) 

Quentin Clayssen bio photo

Quentin Clayssen

Quentin was a FACCTS Visiting Scientist with us between 04/2019 and 10/2019. He took the the first stab at developing the fisrt version of the anvi'o framework for rapid determination of taxonomic affiliation of metagenome-assembled genomes. The last time we checked, Quentin was finishing up his masters education in France.

Sonny T. M. Lee bio photo

Sonny T. M. Lee

Sonny was a Post-doctoral Scientist with us between 05/2016 and 05/2018. He took the responsibility of leading the Fecal Microbiota Transplantation work in our lab. Sonny also was the driving force behind setting up the wet-lab component of our group. The last time we checked, Sonny was a post-dcotoral researcher at Eugene B. Chang's group at the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago.

Tom O. Delmont bio photo

Tom O. Delmont

Tom was a Post-doctoral Scientist with us between 10/2015 and 05/2018. He contributed to the development of anvi'o and its application to the ocean and gut metagenomes. Tom was the very first member of our lab, and Meren and Tom have spent lots of time together thinking about new ways to make sense of metagenomic data. The last time we checked, Tom was a post-doctoral reseracher studying microbial life at the Genoscope in France.

Steven Cui bio photo

Steven Cui

Steven was a Summer Student with us between 07/2016 and 10/2016. He contributed to the development of tRNA-seq tools, a project that bridged Meren's and Tao Pan's interests. The last time we checked, Steven was an undergraduate student studying computer science at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Chicago.

Meren's note on our struggle with the lack of gender diversity in the lab: This is something we are quite aware and upset about, and I finally decided to put a note about the issue on this page to make sure it is clear to everyone. I see the gender imbalance in our lab as my failure, and I am looking forward to fixing it. I advertised only one postdoc position so far, which was the only time I had the opportunity to ameliorate the lack of diversity, however, I wasn't lucky enough to get enough number of applications from women. When I mentioned our struggle with attracting applications from women to the lab to Rika Anderson, she speculated that it might be because there is a major gender imbalance in computer science. Although that is true, I would like to mention that I am interested in working with highly qualified women in both microbiology and/or computer science. I also am suggested to put photos of my collaborators on this page, since a very large fraction of the people I collaborate with are women, to make sure people are not discouraged by the current representation of women in the lab. Although I understand the good intention, I don't want to use names or photos of my friends and colleagues as a part of an apology for something we have to fix. Throughout my life I was very critical of cultural and political practices that make people feel comfortable with the lack of diversity, and this note is not my attempt to excuse myself form this responsibility, but to communicate my discomfort with where we are in our lab. If you are a woman, or any other poorly represented part of the society in science considering applying to our lab, please don't let the current situation stop you from doing it. Thank you!