Lab Members

Principle Investigator

Thomas Sharpton

We aim to develop testable hypotheses about how humans and their microbiome interact, and strive to understand the evolutionary and ecological processes that influence community assembly, maintenance, and function within a host. Ultimately, this knowledge will be used to discover disease mechanisms, identify predicative and diagnostic biomarkers of disease, and develop tools to treat disease through manipulation of the microbiome.


Post Docs

Christopher Gaulke

Broadly, I am interested in developing high throughput molecular and computational tools for the interrogation of host-microbe interactions. I am particularly interested in using the zebrafish model to examine the impact of environmental contaminants on microbial community structure and function.





Graduate Students

Melissa Conley

My scientific investigations are driven by a fascination with the impact of daily habits, such as diet, on our physiology. My research concentrates on identifying host-microbe interactions, using models of chronic disease (e.g., osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome), in response to various dietary interventions, with a focus on the role of chronic inflammation.




Nicole Kirchoff

My research interests surround the ecology and interactions of microorganisms in varying ecosystems. Currently, I'm considering research questions regarding the role of microbes in shaping psychological phenotypes. My main project is investigating the link between gut microbial composition and aggression in dogs.




Courtney Armour







Visiting Scientists

Yanfen Cheng

My research work focuses on methane mitigation from ruminants and plant fiber degradation in the rumen. The relationship between hydrogen producer (especially anaerobic fungi) and hydrogen utilizer (methanogens) was investigated to reveal the mechanism of methane production in the rumen. Yanfen is visiting us from the College of Animal Science and Technology at Nanjing Agricultural University





Lexi Gauthier

I am interested in human health and pathogens that drive disease to hopefully combat and attenuate disease by discovering how microbes interact within the body. I am interested in the applications bioinformatics can have on the development of analyzing the genome and the human microbiome.





Holman Jue

I'm interested in finding and creating a bridge between the vast amount of biological data with the power of technology. I've mainly focused on user application and the computation infrastructure.






Sean McNall

My interests include learning about bioinformatic software development, the response of the microbiome to changes in environmental factors and how antibiotic resistance is distributed through human populations. I also find it fascinating how fast all fields of computational biology are expanding and am excited to see what discoveries lie in the future.





Former Lab Members

Kyle Duyck

Currently a graduate student at University of Oregon.