Ruth Ley received a BA in Integrative Biology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992, a PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a NRC-NASA Fellowship for post-doctoal work with Dr. Norman Pace at CU Boulder. She moved to Washington University School of Medicine to work with Dr. Jeffrey Gordon on the human microbiome in 2004. She was named an Instructor in 2005 and a Research Assistant Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in 2007. In July 2008, Ley joined the Department of Microbiology at Cornell University as an Assistant Professor, and in 2013 became an Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell. She has been Director of the Department of Microbiome Science at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen since July 2016.
Ley’s awards include a Fellowship in Science and Engineering from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a fellowship from The Hartwell Foundation, and a Beckman Young Investigator Award from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. She was a recipient of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2010, and of the 2014 ISME Young Investigator Award.
Washington University School of Medicine (2004-2005)
Post-Doc, Center for Genome Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon
University of Colorado at Boulder (2001-2004)
Post-Doc, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Advisor: Dr. Norman R. Pace
University of Colorado at Boulder (2001)
Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Advisor: Dr. Steven K. Schmidt
University of California at Berkeley (1992)
B.A., Integrative Biology
Director, Department of Microbiome Science, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany, July 2016-present.
Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, 2014-2017.
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Cornell University, 2013-2017.
Adjunct Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, 2011.
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, Cornell University, 2008-2013.
Research Assistant Professor, Washington University School of Medicine. 2007-2008.
Instructor, Washington University School of Medicine. 2005- 2007.
Post-Doctoral Research Scholar, Washington University School of Medicine. 2004-2005.
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Colorado, Boulder. 2001-2004.
Honors and Awards
Honorary Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Tübingen University, 2016.
International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) Young Investigator’s Award, 2014.
Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Research and Extension Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Early Achievement, 2011.
Packard Fellow, 2010 (1 of 16 selected nationwide from all sciences and engineering).
NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, 2010.
Hartwell Investigator, 2009.
Beckman Young Investigator, 2009 (1 of 11 selected nationwide from chemistry and the life sciences).
Pew Biomedical Scholar, 2009 (selected, declined due to Beckman award).
Kavli Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, 2007.
Research Associateship, National Research Council, 2001-2003.
NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2001.
American Society for Microbiology Student Travel Grant, 2001.
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Research Grant, University of Colorado, Boulder. 1997 & 2000.
NSF Biosphere-Atmosphere Research Training Fellowship, University of Colorado, Boulder. 1996-1998.
Beverly Sills Research Grant Award, University of Colorado, Boulder. 1998.
ASM Beneficial Microbes, Co-Chair, 2015; General Meeting Planning Committee, American Society for Microbiology, 2013; Scientific Advisory Board Member, Agbiome, Inc. 2013-present; Editorial Board Member, The ISME Journal, 2013-present; Organizing Committee Member, Cell Symposium “Microbiome and Host Health”, Lisbon, May 2013. Co-Chair, Keystone Symposium “The Microbiome”, 2012; Group Co-Chair, International Society for Prebiotics and Probiotics (ISAPP), 2009; Session chair, ISS Congress, Madison, WI, 2009;Co-Chair, German-American Frontiers of Science Symposium (National Academy of Sciences and the Alexander van Humboldt Foundation), Irvine, CA. 2009; Organizing committee member, German-American Frontiers of Science Symposium (National Academy of Sciences and the Alexander van Humboldt Foundation), Berlin, Germany. 2008.