Zachary Beller

  • Des Plaines, IL

  • Washington U. (2015)

  • Computational and Systems Biology

  • Jeffrey I. Gordon, M.D.

  • Fiber prebiotics and microbiota ecology



The gut microbiota has been widely recognized as an important determinant of human health. However, our understanding of gut ecology and our ability to affect meaningful, long-lasting change on gut communities is lacking. I am interested in developing fiber-based prebiotics in order to affect targeted changes in microbiota state. An unavoidable challenge in this effort are the dynamics of gut bacterial interactions, which govern the change and community states possible. Using CRISPR-based knockdown of targeted gut bacteria in a model human gut microbiota, I will characterize the mechanisms and kinetics of these interactions to further our understanding. By performing combinatorial ‘leave-out’ experiments I will further resolve the web of interactions between gut bacteria. Finally, I will assay carbohydrate degradation using a newly developed bead-based technology to delineate the nutrient utilization patterns found within these community variants and knockdown states. Altogether these efforts will be used to inform the creation of more precise, efficacious prebiotic therapies.

Last Updated: 9/11/2017 12:08:52 PM

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