We live in a microbial world. There are 7 million times more microbes on Earth than there are stars in the visible universe. The ability to evolve diverse chemical capabilities allows these organisms to grow and survive in varied habitats and to interact in complex microbial communities (microbiomes). Though these assemblages are critical for the health of many environments and organisms, including humans, we currently lack a molecular understanding of how they function.
The overarching goal of research in the Balskus Lab is to transform our understanding of microbes and microbiomes by pioneering approaches that integrate microbiology and chemistry. We explore many exciting questions at the interface of these fields. How can we connect key metabolic activities occurring in these communities to specific microbes, genes, and enzymes? How can we discover the functions encoded by the vast amount of uncharacterized genetic information present in microbiome sequencing data? How can we illuminate the biological consequences of microbial metabolism in complex habitats? How can we selectively perturb individual activities in microbial communities, and could this have therapeutic benefit in the context of the human microbiome? By uncovering the molecular basis for microbial interactions, our work will not only reveal fundamental insights into microbiomes, but also provide innovative solutions to problems facing medicine, agriculture, and the environment.
- Apr 17, 2019 Congratulations to Drs. Schneider & Orman!
- Mar 14, 2019 Biocatalytic Friedel–Crafts Alkylation
- Mar 14, 2019 E. coli toxin linked to colon cancer alkylates DNA
- Jan 23, 2019 "Cutting in choline"
- Jan 18, 2019 WGBH Curiosity Desk Feature
- Dec 14, 2018 "Gut commensals make choline too!"
- Sep 26, 2018 This year's SN10 young researchers
- Aug 30, 2018 Congratulations Professor Emily Balskus!!
- Jul 6, 2018 Congratulations to Drs. Koppel, Waldman, & Zha!
- Jul 6, 2018 Research Highlight: Gut Microbiome Inactivates Digoxin
- Feb 13, 2018 Merrick Named Churchill Scholar
- Feb 12, 2018 Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Microbiome Informatics Research
- Jan 16, 2018 Perspective: The Human Microbiota, Infectious Disease, and Global Health
- Jan 10, 2018 Welcome Beverly!
- Dec 10, 2017 Review: Engineering Microbial Community Chemistry
- Nov 16, 2017 Research Highlight: Gut Microbiome Deprives Mice of Key Nutrient
- Nov 16, 2017 Gourmet Investigator
- Aug 17, 2017 HHMI Awards Gilliam Fellowships
- Aug 8, 2017 Colibactin's Cyclopropane Moiety Derived from SAM
- Jul 18, 2017 Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Announces Fellows
- May 12, 2017 Cylindrocyclophane Biosynthesis Elucidated
- Feb 12, 2017 A New Strategy for Enzyme Discovery in Microbiomes