The one-pathogen-one-disease paradigm – the focus of infectious disease research for more than a century – has been complicated by the discovery of the human microbiome (i.e. the bacterial communities that reside in and on our bodies). The gut microbiome is intimately tied to the development of our immune system, our physiology, and even our psychology. A breakdown in the ecological structure of our gut has been associated with inflammatory disorders, metabolic syndromes, and cancer.
In this talk, Dr. Gibbons will discuss how disturbances of the gut ecosystem can make us sick and how restoration of the microbiome back to a healthy state can potentially alleviate many complex diseases.
BIO: Sean Gibbons
Sean Gibbons received his Ph.D. in biophysical sciences from the University of Chicago in 2015. His graduate work focused on using microbial communities as empirical models for testing ecological theory. He completed his postdoctoral training in Eric Alm’s laboratory in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT from 2015-2018. His postdoctoral work focused on eco-evolutionary dynamics within the human gut microbiome. Gibbons recently joined the faculty at the Institute for Systems Biology, in Seattle. His lab will investigate interactions between ecology, evolution and ecosystem function in the gut, applying these insights to develop personalized interventions for improving human health and well-being.