Ashley Wolf

Closed (1) Bacterial metabolism and competition in the mammalian gut

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

The mammalian gut microbiota is a complex community of microbes shaped by diet, microbial competition and host factors. Sequencing surveys of human gut microbiota samples have shown the extreme diversity of these communities, as well as correlated aspects of the microbiota with a range of human conditions. Disruption to gut microbiota structure is linked to diverse human diseases including colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes. A deeper understanding of how bacteria compete in the mammalian gut is foundational to understanding dysbiosis in disease states, as well as microbial impacts on the host. The Wolf Lab combines human microbiome data, laboratory models, and computational analyses to ask questions about the role of diet, microbial competition, and host factors on bacterial growth and persistence in the mammalian gut.

Both experimental and computational projects are available based on the students interests and skills. Specific projects may involve a variety of approaches including culturing anaerobic bacteria, PCR, preparing sequencing data, processing sequencing data, molecular cloning, and possibly mouse work.

Qualifications: Student should have coursework in biology and optionally data science/computer science.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

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