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The Chemistry of Microbiomes: All Systems Seminar

The Chemistry of Microbiomes
All Systems Seminar

December 7, 2016 from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

National Academy of Science Building
Room 125
2101 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20418


Webcast viewers: if you would like to ask the speakers a question during the discussion section, please either tweet @NASEM_Chem or email


The All Microbiome Systems is the culminating event of the four-part seminar series on the chemistry of microbiomes in earth and marine systems, and in humans. In the earlier series, we learned about the intricate interplay between complex communities of microbiomes, their living hosts, and the surrounding abiotic environments, and how these interactions contribute to the metabolic diversity and overall health and well being of the planet. The final seminar will highlight the fundamental mechanisms that microbial communities use to communicate, aff­ect their environments, and facilitate other functions.

The series will probe the current state of research on the chemistry of the microbiome; evaluate future research opportunities and challenges; and highlight unique technical challenges associated with this research. The goal is to build on the momentum of this rapidly evolving research field, share learnings, identify cross-system and cross-platform commonalities and opportunities for collaboration and integration, and amplify the impact of research.


Please see speakers below.




luTimothy Lu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Lu received his undergraduate and M.Eng. degrees from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Thereafter, he obtained an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and Ph.D. from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Medical Engineering and Medical Physics Program. Prof. Tim Lu joined MIT as Assistant Professor at the Department. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2010 and obtained a joint appointment at the Department of Biological Engineering in 2012.


moMohammad Seyedsayamdost, Princeton University

Mo Seyedsayamdost in an assistant professor of chemistry and molecular biology at Princeton University as well as an associated faculty member of the Princeton Environmental Institute. His lab is interested in deciphering the chemical language that microbes use to communicate and compete with one another, with the goal of understanding the molecular principles that drive short‐ and long‐term symbiotic associations. These studies focus on naturally‐occurring marine algal‐bacterial symbioses as well as on bacterial‐bacterial interactions in complex environments, including soil and the human microbiome. Research in the Seyedsayamdost lab blends approaches from microbiology, bacterial genetics, small molecule chemistry, and mechanistic enzymology.

Mo received a combined BS/MS degree with highest honors from Brandies University and conducted undergraduate thesis work in the lab of Prof. L. Hedstrom. His graduate studies were carried out in the Department of Chemistry at MIT under the guidance of Prof. J. Stubbe. Subsequently, he joined the laboratories of Prof. J. Clardy and Prof. R. Kolter at Harvard Medical School for his postdoctoral studies as a LSRF fellow. In January 2013, he started his independent career at Princeton University. He has been named a Searle Scholar and a Pew Biomedical Scholar, and has been the recipient of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award and the NIH New Innovator Award.


reedJennifer Reed, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jennifer Reed is a Harvey D. Spangler Faculty Scholar in the College of Engineering and an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her B.S in Bioengineering: Biotechnology and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego. She has received a number of awards for her research including an NSF Career Award, DOE Early Career Award, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). She is an American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow and a Kavli Fellow. Her group develops and applies systems biology approaches to study and engineer microbial metabolism and regulation for a variety of applications.



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