Rob Knight, PhD

Rob Knight is the founding Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation, an Agile Center in the Jacobs School of Engineering with the School of Medicine and the Division of Biological Sciences as founding partners, and is a Professor in UC San Diego’s Departments of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering. Before that he was Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Computer Science in the BioFrontiers Institute of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an HHMI Early Career Scientist. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Microbiology.  In 2015 he received the Vilceck Prize in Creative Promise for the Life Sciences. He is the author of “Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes” (Simon & Schuster, 2015) and spoke at TED in 2014. His lab has produced many of the software tools and laboratory techniques that enabled high-throughput microbiome science, including the QIIME pipeline (cited over 5000 times as of this writing) and UniFrac (cited over 3000 times including its web interface). He is co-founder of the Earth Microbiome Project, the American Gut Project, and the company Biota, Inc., which uses DNA from microbes in the subsurface to guide oilfield decisions. His work has linked microbes to a range of health conditions including obesity and inflammatory bowel disease, has enhanced our understanding of microbes in environments ranging from the oceans to the tundra, and and made high-throughput sequencing techniques accessible to thousands of researchers around the world. Rob can be followed on Twitter (@knightlabnews) or on his web site http://knightlab.ucsd.edu/.

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