Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, directs the Washington University School of Medicine’s Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology. Along with talented students and colleagues, Gordon has harnessed the power of specialized mouse models to study the ­microbial communities that colonize the human gut. (James Byard/Washington University)

The father of the microbiome

Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, is expanding our understanding of human health into nonhuman realms, studying the bacteria that take up residence in the gut and help define who we become. Indeed, this research suggests you are what you — and your microbes — eat.

Mimicking diet changes of global travel reveals clues to gut health​

With the growing understanding of the importance of gut bacteria in human health, researchers at the School of Medicine studied gut motility, measuring the transit time of food moving through the gastrointestinal tract in mice in a way that mimicked the dietary effects of world travel. The study demonstrates ways to uncover how even a single ingredient, such as turmeric, can affect health through interactions of diet and gut microbes.

Bacterial flora of remote tribespeople carries antibiotic resistance genes

Scientists, including researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, have found antibiotic resistance genes in the bacterial flora of a South American tribe that never before had been exposed to antibiotic drugs. The findings suggest that bacteria in the human body have had the ability to resist antibiotics since long before such drugs were ever used to treat disease.

Gordon wins Passano Foundation Award

Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, director of the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology, has won the 2014 Passano Foundation Award for his pioneering studies showing how the trillions of microbes that live in the gut influence human health.
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