Tamar Barkay,  Professor, Rutgers University

Dr. Barkay is a microbial ecologist who studies the interactions of microorganisms with their environment and the ways they affect, and are affected by, the changing conditions on our planet.  She is investigating how the environmental microbiome is responding to the presence of toxic substances, modulating their impact on human and environmental health.

Field: Microbial ecology, environmental health

Thomas Bosch, Professor, University of Kiel

Dr. Bosch has been widely recognized for his work in evolutionary developmental biology and the development of simple animal models to experimentally assess and validate general molecular and evolutionary principles shaping host-microbe interactions.

Field: Metaorganisms, healthy aging, cnidarian Hydra

Nicholas Bokulich, Professor, ETH Zürich

Nicholas Bokulich is the Professor of Food Systems Biotechnology at the Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health (ETH Zürich). The Bokulich laboratory develops computational methods and software for studying spatiotemporal dynamics of microbial ecosystems, and applies these tools to investigate the interface between microbiomes, food, and human health.

Field: Microbial ecosystems

Raul Cano, CSO, The BioCollective

Dr. Cano is specialized in Paleomicrobiology and is a recognized expert in environmental forensics and on the microbiome and resistome of European and Ancient American Cultures. He has taught microbiology and biotechnology at for 35 years, receiving more than a dozen rewards, including the prestigious Carski Award.

Field: Paleomicrobiology, human gut microbiota collection and population level studies

Martha Carlin, CEO/Founder, The BioCollective

Since its founding in 2015, The BioCollective has built a world-class kit for whole stool collection/population level studies. Their expertise on preparing samples, culture collections, storage methods and databases of metagenomic data will be important to the Vault repository and studies to understand microbial function.

Field: Systems analyses, human gut microbiota collection and population level studies

Thomas Clavel, Group Leader “Functional Microbiome Research”, University Hospital of RWTH Aachen

Prof. Clavel has more than 15 years of experience in working on the mammalian gut microbiome using a combination of molecular and culture-based techniques. His team has been describing numerous novel bacterial taxa and assembling collections of bacterial strains from the intestine of various mammalian hosts, including mice (www.dsmz.de/miBC), pigs, and humans.

Field: Gut microbial ecology; anaerobic cultivation

Maria Carmen Collado,  Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Maria Carmen Collado is research scientist at Institute of Agrochesmisry and Foord Technology-Spanish National Researcg Councila (IATA-CSIC, Valencia, Spain). Her research work is multidisciplinary and includes microbiology, food science, nutrition and human health.  Her interests are focused on microbiota and nutrition during pregnancy and early life period.

Field: microbiology, nutrition and lactation

Joël Doré, Research Director in the Micalis Institute “Food and Gut Microbiology for Human Health”, INRA/Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

Dr. Doré is Scientific director of MetaGenoPolis (mgps.eu), center of excellence in quantitative and functional metagenomics, and a world expert in gut microbiology, having contributed to the development of standards on microbiome research for translational applications.

Field: Human intestinal microbial ecology and metagenomics

Merete Eggesbø, MD, Senior Researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Dr. Eggesbø is an epidemiologist and the PI of the HUMIS-NoMIC study, in which the gut microbiome has been mapped from birth onwards to 12 years. Her research aims at exploring how early life factors, including exposure to toxicants, influences the infant gut microbiome, as well as understanding the long-term health impacts of a disrupted early microbiome.

Field: Gut microbiota in babies, SCFA, epidemiology, environmental toxicants

Adrian Egli, Professor, Research Group Leader Applied Microbiology Research, University of Basel and Head of Clinical Bacteriology and Mycology, University Hospital Basel

Prof. Egli’s main goals are: 1) to develop new diagnostic for rapid detection of multidrug resistant and virulent pathogen; 2) to explore novel typing technologies such as whole genome sequencing  and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for clinical applications; 3) to finally understand pathogen evolution in the broad context of the host/pathogen/environment interaction. This could lead to the identification of the most critical factors important for pathogenicity, resistance development, and transmission. Such information will allow the generation of novel intervention strategies to impact disease outcomes for a single patient but also the population burden of infections.

Field: Clinical microbiology, machine learning, biobanking, sequencing, transmission dynamics

Eran Elinav, MD,  Professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science

Dr. Elinav is also the director of the cancer-microbiome division at the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany. His labs focus on deciphering the molecular basis of host-microbiome interactions and their effects on health and disease

Field: Nutrition, microbiology

Lars Engstrand, MD, Professor and Director, Centre for Translational Microbiome Research, Karolinska Institutet & Science for Life Laboratory

Dr. Engstrand has more than 30 years experience, often combining population-based epidemiology with clinical and basic microbiological science, including molecular biology and genomics. He studies the human microbiome in health and disease, and his group introduced the use of next generation sequencing in studies of the human gastro-intestinal microbiome more than 10 years ago.

Field: Clinical and basic sciences, cancer, reproductive medicine and gut related disorders

B. Brett Finlay, Professor, Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia

Dr. Finlay is also co-director of the CIFAR Humans and Microbiome Program. His labs focus on host-microbe interactions, including both pathogenic microbes and the microbiome, and their effects on health and disease

Field: Microbiology, microbial pathogenesis

Naama Geva-Zatorsky, Assistant Professor at Technion, CIFAR-Azrieli Global Scholar, Humans & Microbiome Program

Dr. Geva-Zatorsky studies the microbiota effects on host physiology and their therapeutic potential. She is interested in characterizing the microbial molecules involved and the mechanisms of their interactions with the mammalian host. In addition, she is studying the dynamics of microbial colonization, their spatial organization and the importance of bacteriophages in the gut ecosystem.

Field: Microbiology, immunology, systems biology

Francisco Guarner,  MD, Vall d’Hebron Institutie of Research

Francisco Guarner, MD is a Consultant Physician specializing in Gastroenterology at University Hospital Vall d’Hebron (Barcelona, Spain). His areas of clinical practice and research are inflammatory bowel diseases, gut microbiota, and mucosal immunity.

Field: Gastroenterology, immunology, gut microbial ecosystem

Filipa Godoy-Vitorino, University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine, Microbial Ecology and Genomics Lab

Dr. Godoy-Vitorino is a Microbial Ecologist working on the role of microbes in human, animal and environmental health, and is working with liaisons to coordinate support for the Microbiota Vault, from global institutions. Filipa is the President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Caribbean Division, 2020-2022

Field: Microbiomes, metagenomics

Robert M. Goodman, Executive Dean, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University

Dr. Goodman is a prominent academic and executive leader with experience in building infrastructures to launch and sustain complex multidisciplinary scientific enterprises.

Field: Microbial ecology, metagenomics, project management

Kenya Honda, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Keio University School of Medicine (Tokyo, Japan)

Kenya Honda has been aiming to identify specific intestinal bacterial species that influence the host immune cells by inducing their functions and differentiation. By unraveling the mechanisms and key bacterial molecules, Honda team strives to develop therapeutic intervention for healing wide-array of intestinal dysbiosis, such as inflammatory bowel disease, auto-immune diseases and allergy.

Field: Microbiota therapeutics, microbiology, immunology

Janet K. Jansson, Chief Scientist for Biology in the Biological Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Dr. Jansson is the lead for the Microbiomes in Transition (MinT) Initiative and studies phenotypic Response of the Soil Microbiome to Environmental Perturbations.

Field: Microbiomes, metagenomics

Dan Knights, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota

Dr. Knights is a computational biologist who has developed some of the leading methods for analyzing microbiome data. He runs a research lab at the University of Minnesota where he brings together methods in machine learning, nutrition, and metagenomics to study how modern lifestyles and diets impact the gut microbiota in health and disease.

Field:  Microbial ecology, machine learning

Ramanan Laxminarayan, Director and Senior Fellow, CDDEP and Princeton University

Dr. Laxminarayan is broadly interested in issues of antimicrobial effectiveness as one of conserving a shared common resource.  He is trained as an economist and an epidemiologist and his work addresses issues of economic and health consequences of resistance, antibiotic consumption in humans and animals, and incentives for appropriate use of existing antibiotics and development of new ones.

Field: Economics, epidemiology

Simon Levin, Professor, Princeton University
Simon Levin is an ecologist at Princeton, interested in the structure and dynamics of ecological communities in general and how theories of ecological organization can be applied to the microbiome.

Field:  Ecology

Safarina G. Malik, Lab Head, Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, Indonesia

Dr. Malik’s research interest include mitochondrial genetics and dysfunction, genetic diversity , gut microbes and lifestyle diseases. She is one of the initiator of the IMELDA (Indonesian Model for Epidemic Lifestyle Disease Associations) study that link genetics, gut microbiota and nutrition/environment diversities with lifestyle disease.

Field: Genetics, lifestyle disease

Daniele Manzella, Policy and legal expert for the United Nations, Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture at FAO

Mr. Manzella contributes to the global governance of innovation in agriculture by promoting mechanisms for an efficient science-policy interface. He has been advisor to the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and developing country governments on various themes related to biosecurity, trade and intellectual property.

Field: Law, intellectual property

Jorge Marcone, Associate Professor, Rutgers University

Dr. Marcone research focuses on literature, film, and arts with a significant potential for, or impact in facilitating, or blocking, adaptation to socio-ecological changes and uncertainty. He specializes on narratives of the Amazon, in diverse media and fields of study, that represent indigenous/aboriginal ontologies of the human and nonhuman, environmentalisms, and practices of socio-ecological resilience.

Field: Environmental humanities, amazonian studies, latin American cultural studies

Daniel McDonald, Scientific Director, The Microsetta Initiative, UC San Diego School of Medicine

Dr. McDonald develops open access citizen science infrastructure to catalog host associated microbes. He is interested in facilitating data reuse for hypothesis generation and data exploration, and the development of software to enable large scale microbiome analysis.

Field: microbiome analysis, databases

Laura-Isobel McCall, Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma

Dr. McCall uses a small molecule-centric metabolomics approach to understand microbiome function, with a focus on the connection between chemical signaling and microbial tropism and on the effects of eukaryotic colonizers on host and bacterial metabolism.

Field: Metabolomics, parasitology

Margaret McFall-Ngai, Professor and Director, Pacific Biosciences Research Center, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Dr. McFall-Ngai, in partnership with microbiologists, has developed the squid-vibrio model for the study of the chronic colonization of animal epithelia by Gram-negative bacteria. Using this model, she studies symbiont recruitment from the environment, specificity, development of the symbiotic system, and the mechanisms underlying persistence of the association.

Field: The development and use of model systems for the study of complex microbiota

Oscar Noya-Alarcon, Central University, Amazonic Center of Research and Control of Tropical Diseases, Venezuela

Dr. Noya Alarcon is an MD parasitologist working with remote Amerindian populations in the vast South American forests of the South of Venezuela. He studies the effect of modern lifestyles on human microbiota and health.

Field: Medicine, parasitology

Ørjan Olsvik, Professor, The Arctic University of Norway

Dr. Olsvik is Professor in Medical Microbiology at Faculty of Health Sciences at the UiT-Norwegian Arctic University in Tromsø, Norway. He is also a former professor in veterinary microbiology at the Norwegian College of Veterinary Medicine Oslo, and spent several years at Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA. He worked with diagnosis of diarrheal microbial diseases and intestinal bacterial flora. He has a special interest in antimicrobial resistance and outbreak investigations.

Field: Medical microbiology, antimicrobial resistance,  outbreak investigations

Tobias Rees, Professor, New School for Social Research
Dr. Rees is Reid Hoffman Professor of Humanities at the New School in New York; Founding Director of the Transformations of the Human program at the Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles; and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research (CIFAR). His research is focused on the ways in which fields like microbiome research and machine learning challenge and change the modern concept of the human (according to which humans are more than nature/other than machine).
Fields: philosophy, microbiome, machine learning.

Edward Ruby, Professor, University of Hawaii-Manoa

Dr. Ruby has worked to understand the role of beneficial bacterial-host interactions for 40 years. Focusing on luminescent bacteria isolated from the light organs of marine animals, he helped discover the phenomenon of microbial quorum signaling and, with Margaret McFall-Ngai, has developed the Vibrio fischeri-sepiolid squid light-organ association as a natural experimental model for microbial symbioses.

Field: Host-microbe signaling pathways, bacterial physiology and genomics

Michael Scharl, MD, Professor, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital Zürich

Dr. Scharl is specialized in Gastroenterology and Head of the Translational Microbiome Research Center at USZ. He studies the interaction between the intestinal microbiota and the immune system. He is investigating the potential of the intestinal microbiome and particularly, specific bacterial strains, as therapeutic agents or biomarkers in inflammatory and malignant diseases.

Field: Gastroenterology, immunology, gut microbiota

Thomas M. Schmidt, Professor, University of Michigan

Dr. Schmidt is director of the Michigan Microbiome Project and a microbiologist who has studies microbes from diverse environments. Most recently he has focused on understanding how environmental characteristics in the GI tract influence the functioning of the gut microbiota and how to engineer that system for desired outcomes.

Field: Physiology and ecology of microbes in complex microbial communities

Justin L. Sonnenburg, Associate Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Sonnenburg studies the gut microbiota in health and disease and co-directs the Center for Human Microbiome Studies.  His laboratory at Stanford develops and employs diverse technologies to understand basic principles that govern interactions within the intestinal microbiota and between the microbiota and the host. An ongoing objective of the research program is to devise and implement innovative strategies to prevent and treat disease in humans via the gut microbiota.

Field:  Gut microbiota mechanisms and function

Erica D. Sonnenburg, Senior Scientist, Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Sonnenburg studies the mechanisms that underlie gut microbiota dynamics.  Her group focuses on understanding the impact of diet on gut microbiota composition and function.  Current efforts are focused on defining and understanding the biology of gut microbes that have been depleted over the course of industrialization.

Field:  Diet-microbiota dynamics, microbes lost during industrialization

Luís Teixeira, Principal Investigator, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência

Luis Teixeira is interested in how hosts interact with symbiotic microorganisms at the functional and evolutionary levels. He studies interactions with microbial pathogens and mutualists, as well as, how microbes influence each other. In this context his group has been collecting and characterizing isolates of the microbiota of wild Drosophila populations.

Field: Host-microbe interactions

Daniela Vargas-Robles, Amazonic Center of Research and Control of Tropical Diseases, Venezuela

Dr. Vargas-Robles is a researcher microbial ecology focusing in the effect of modern lifestyles in human microbiota, HPV and health. She is also studying indoors microbiomes of highly transit urban systems such as city subways.

Field: Microbial Ecology, metagenomics

Lars Vereecke , MD, University Hospital Gent

Dr. Vereecke studies mechanisms underlying inflammatory and the contribution of the microbiota in multiple pathologies, in particular, the mechanistic link between gut & joint pathologies.

Field: Microbiomes, immunology

Harris Wang, Assistant Professor, Columbia University

Dr. Wang is a systems and synthetic biologist who studies the composition, dynamics, spatial organization, and function of the microbiome using genomics and metagenomics approaches. He is interested in generating high-throughput strategies to culture and analyze gut microbiomes and engineering them for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Field: Microbiome, culturomics, systems biology

Karina B. Xavier, Principal Investigator, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência

Dr. Xavier’s main research interest is inter-species cell-cell communication in bacteria and its role in beneficial and hostile interactions with the host. She started working on bacterial quorum sensing in her postdoc at Princeton University where she showed that the quorum sensing signal autoinducer-2 can foster interspecies communication in bacteria. Recently, her group showed that manipulation of interspecies quorum sensing in the mammalian gut can influence species composition of the microbiota. In 2012 she received the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Early Career Award.

Field: Microbial molecular biology, biochemistry and quorum sensing

Liping Zhao, Eveleigh-Fenton Chair of Applied Microbiology, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University

Dr. Zhao studies how nutrition impact human health by way of modulation of the gut microbiota.

Field: Nutrition, microbiology