Martin Blaser, MD

Martin J. Blaser, M.D., is the Muriel and George Singer Professor of Medicine, Professor of Microbiology, and Director of the Human Microbiome Program at the NYU School of Medicine. He served as Chair of the Department of Medicine at NYU from 2000-2012.  He served as President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute, and Chair of the Advisory Board for Clinical Research of the National Institutes of Health.  He was elected to the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy for Arts and Sciences.  A physician and microbiologist, Dr. Blaser is interested in understanding the relationships we have with our persistently colonizing bacteria. His work over the past 30 years largely focused on Campylobacter species and Helicobacter pylori, which are important as pathogens, and as model systems for understanding interactions of residential bacteria with their human hosts. Over the last decade, he has been actively studying the relationship of the human microbiome to health and such important diseases as asthma, obesity, diabetes, and allergies.  He holds 24 U.S. patents relating to his research, has authored over 500 original articles, and a book, Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues.

Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, PhD


Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Division of Translational Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the New York University Langone Medical Center.  She also holds appointments as a Professor at the University of Puerto Rico and at the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research.  She is the winner of the Roi Baudouin Award given by the International Foundation for Science, and the Medal of Merit given by the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research.  She is also a fellow at the Infectious disease society of America and a fellow at the American Academy of Microbiology.  Her research is focused on how modern practices in Western lifestyles impact the microbiome, and its differences with traditional societies' microbiomes.

Curtis Huttenhower, PhD


Curtis Huttenhower, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics in the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at Harvard University. He completed his graduate and postdoctoral studies at Princeton University. In 2012, he received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Barack Obama as well as a National Science Foundation career award in 2010.  He a

His research focuses on systems biology in the context of high throughput computational methods tightly integrated with experimental biology. 

Rob Knight, PhD

Rob Knight is a Professor at the BioFrontiers Institute and in the Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Computer Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an HHMI Early Career Scientist, a Senior Editor at the ISME Journal, a member of the Steering Committee of the Earth Microbiome Project, and a co-founder of the American Gut Project.

Simin Nikbin Meydani, DVM, PhD

Simin Nikbin Meydani, DVM, PhD, is the Director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. She also has appointments as Professor of Nutrition in the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and as Professor of Immunology at the Tufts University Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.  She serves as the Vice President-Elect of the American Society on nutrition, is a board member of the American Aging Association, and is the chair of the Council on Immunology, Hematology, and Oncology for the American College of Nutrition.

Her research interests include the impact of nutrition on the aging process and age-associated diseases; role of nutrition on immune and inflammatory responses and predisposition to infectious diseases in developed and less developed countries, on which she has published more than 300 papers.


Jacques Ravel, PhD

Jacques Ravel

Jacques Ravel, PhD, is the Associate Director for Genomics, Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS), the editor-in-chief for the Journal Microbiome, and a Professor in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. His research centers on the Human Microbiome Project, an NIH roadmap to sequence and study the human microbiota and their interrelationship with human health. He is also a noted researcher on microbial forensics.

His research focuses on the application of microbial genomics to three main topics: Exploring the human microbiome, the making of a genome with a special emphasis on human microbial pathogens, and Chemical genomics.

    Owen R. White, PhD


    Owen R. White, PhD, is the Director of the Bioinformatics department at the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) and a Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. The IGS Bioinformatics group annotates (or interprets and analyses) the huge strings of sequencing data from genomic and biomedical researchers at the center. Dr. White and the IGS Bioinformatics department are involved in large-scale annotation, ontology development and data sharing. They are the lead institution for the Human Microbiome Project’s central data repository or the Data Analysis and Coordination Center (known as the HMP DACC).