We are interested in the co-evolution of humans with their microbiomes

We take an evolutionary perspective to ask how microbial communities in the gut adapted to life in the human host.

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Latest News

Last week, as the 2018 World Cup was in its last leg, the MPI Campus Soccer Tournament took place. A team from members of the Ley Lab competed, and...

Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, a former postdoct in the Ley Lab, is starting a tenure track position as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Nutritional...

We would like to welcome the new post-docs that have joined our lab this semester. They are:

  • Dr. James Marsh, working on bacterial sphingolipids in...

Selected Publications

Walters W. A., Jin Z., Youngblut N., Wallace J. G., Sutter J., Zhang W., González-Peña A., Peiffer J., Koren  O., Shi  Q., Rob Knight, Glavina del Rio T., Tringe S. G., Buckler E. S., Dangl J. L., and Ley R. E. Large-scale replicated field study of maize rhizosphere identifies heritable microbes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA pii: 201800918 (2018)

Di Rienzi S. C., Jacobson J., Kennedy E. A., Bell M. E., Shi Q., Waters J. L., Lawrence P., Brenna J. T., Britton R. A., Walter J., and Ley R. E. Resilience of small intestinal beneficial bacteria to the toxicity of soybean oil fatty acids. eLife 7:e32581 (2018)

Goodrich, J. K. , E. R. Davenport, M. A. Jackson, M. Beaumont, R. Knight, T. D. Spector, J. T. Bell, A. G. Clark, R. E. Ley. Genetic determinants of the gut microbiome assessed in UK Twins. Cell Host & Microbe 19:731-43. (2016)

Goodrich, J. K., E. R. Davenport, J. L. Waters, A. G. Clark and R. E. Ley. Cross-species comparisons of host genetic associations with the microbiome. Science 352: 532-535. (2016)

Goodrich, J. K.,  J. L. Waters, A. C. Poole, J. L. Sutter, O. Koren, R. Blekhman, M. Beaumont, W. Van Treuren, R. Knight, J. T. Bell, T. D. Spector, A. G. Clark and R. E. Ley. Human genetics shape the gut microbiome. Cell 159: 789-799. (2014)

DiRienzi, S. C., I. Sharon*, K. C. Wrighton, O. Koren, L. A. Hug, B. C. Thomas, J. K. Goodrich, J. T. Bell, T. D. Spector, J. F. Banfielda and R. E. Ley.  The human gut and groundwater harbor non-photosynthetic bacteria belonging to a new candidate phylum sibling to Cyanobacteria. eLife 2:e01102 (2013)

Koren, O., J. K. Goodrich, T. C. Cullender, A. Spor, K. Laitinen, H. Backhed, A. Gonzalez, J. J. Werner, L. T. Angenent, R. Knight, F. Backhed, E. Isolauri, S. Salminen and R. E. Ley. Remodeling of the gut microbiome and metabolic changes during pregnancy. Cell 150: 1-11 (2012).