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Our Dynamic Microbiomes and Gut Health
Prof Rob Knight, Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering, University of California at San Diego
Date : 11 Dec 2017 (Monday)
Time : 10:30 am - 12:00 noon
Venue : Chiang Chen Lecture Theater (LT-J), HKUST
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We change our microbiomes every day through the food we eat, the environments we experience, and even the people we live and work with. The implications of these changes in the microbiome for our health are just beginning to be understood. Through the American Gut Project, the largest crowdsourced and crowdfunded citizen-science project yet conducted, scientists now know about the microbiomes of many types of people, from the healthiest (student-athletes, centenarians) to the sickest (cancer patients or ICU patients with Clostridium difficile). Amazingly, diet has an especially profound effect on our microbiomes, often outweighing the effects of disease or medications. This raises the prospect of a system for real-time analysis of our microbiomes that helps guide our daily decisions in a way that optimizes our microbiomes for life-long wellness.


About the speaker

Prof Rob Knight received his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Otago in 1996 and PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University in 2001. He then joined University of Colorado at Boulder as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant. In 2004, he became an Assistant Professor of Computational Biosciences Program at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. In 2015, he joined University of California at San Diego, where he is currently the Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering.

Prof Knight’s research focuses on the field of microbiome and microbial sciences, as well as computational and integrative biology. His team is interested in the evolution of the composition of biomolecules, genomes, and communities in different ecosystems, including the complex microbial ecosystems of the human body. He is currently the Senior Editor of the ISME Journal and the editorial board members for Gut Microbes, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Genome Biology and Biology Direct. He is also the member of the Scientific Advisory Board at the Center for Gut Microbiome Research & Education of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA).

Prof Knight is currently a member of ASM Microbiome Taskforce, AGA Center for Gut Microbiome Research & Education Strategic Advisory Board and RNA Ontology Consortium. Besides, his research is well recognized by a number of awards, including Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher (top 1%) (2017), Massry Prize (with Jeffrey Gordon and Norman Pace) (2017), Biocom Life Science Catalyst Award (2016) and Thomas Reuters Highly Cited Researcher (2016, 2015, 2014).





For attendees’ attention


  The lecture is free and open to all. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.



HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study
Enquiries: ias@ust.hk / 2358 5912