About the team

Since January 2017, the writing of the (nearly) daily Microbiome Digest blog posts has been done by a fantastic team of scientists from all over the world, who all share their love of microbiology and science communication here.


Korin Albert

downloadKorin Albert is a PhD candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program. She is currently conducting her dissertation research under Dr. David Sela in UMass Amherst’s Department of Food Science who studies the relationship between mothers, the infant gut microbiome, and human milk. Korin’s research is focused on the coevolution between host dietary components and symbiotic Bifidobacterium species in the lower digestive tract.
Posts by Korin Albert


Alexandra Alexiev

522853_3614969096636_1346079310_3444176_746049374_nAlexandra is a graduate student at CU Boulder (CO, USA) in Valerie McKenzie’s lab studying the skin microbiome of amphibians. She is interested in the broad concepts of host microbiome interactions and science communication.
Website: alexforscience.wordpress.com
Twitter: @AlexForScience
Posts by Alexandra Alexiev


Sarah Barnett Burns

Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 4.26.43 PMSarah is a graduate student at McGill University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) in Gustavo Turecki’s lab studying the human gut microbiome-brain axis in the context of depression and suicide. She is interested in the mechanisms of gut-brain communication and the impact of microbes on host gene regulation.

Sarah’s LinkedIn profile
Posts by Sara Barnett Burns


Maureen Berg

26348125_TcNzOsCBRBSASN0f6ZGrBmEI3lLg010.jpegMaureen is a graduate student at UC Berkeley (CA, USA) working with C. elegans and plant microbiomes with Michael Shapira and Britt Koskella. She is interested in working with the team to be up to date on microbiome literature, and to gain skills in science communication.
LinkedIn profile of Maureen.
Posts by Maureen Berg


Juan Pablo Cardenas

Juan_Cardenas2.pngJP is a Data Scientist at uBiome in Santiago, Chile. Before that, he did his PhD at the Universidad Andrés Bello in Santiago, and a postdoc at the Fundación Ciencia Para la Vida. He is interested in bioinformatics and computational biology and microbial ecology.
Juan Pablo’s profile on Research Gate
Twitter: @jpca_chile
Posts by Juan Pablo Cardenas


Barak Dror

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 10.25.20 PMPhD Student in the Eddie Cytryn Lab, at the Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization, Hebrew U of Jerusalem, Israel.

Personal website: BarakDror.com

Posts by Barak Dror


Peter Graystock

unnamed.jpgPeter is a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell (Ithaca, NY, USA) studying the transmission dynamics of microbes in pollinator communities and looking for links between pollinator parasites and their microbiomes.
Website: Graystock.info
Twitter: @PeterGraystock
Posts by Peter Graystock


Kiran Gurung

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 10.28.20 AM.pngKiran is a PhD student at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Her work involves understanding the microbiome of Drosophila suzukii. Kiran is interested in host-microbe interactions and specifically in insect-endosymbionts, and science writing.
Twitter: @kirangurung29
Posts by Kiran Gurung


Zehra Tüzün Güvener

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 10.36.07 AMTüzün is a Technical Lead Scientist (Consultant) at a very early-stage microbiome diagnostic startup at the QB3 of UCSF. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Istanbul University and Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratories of Dr. Linda McCarter at the University of Iowa and Dr. Carrie Harwood at the University of Washington. Her postdoctoral work focused on the ability of bacteria to sense and response their environment and biofilm development. As a Project Scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, she worked on microbial ecology of the natural microbial communities from the fruit fly gut. Tüzün’s current work is about metagenomes of clinical human microbiomes for diagnostic product development.

Tüzün’s LinkedIn page
Posts by Tüzün Güvener


Tiffany Hsu

Screen Shot 2018-03-11 at 4.32.58 PMTiffany is a graduate student in Curtis Huttenhower’s laboratory at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) (MA, USA). Her main projects involve characterizing horizontal gene transfer in the human microbiome, as well as looking at microbial composition on the Boston subways. She will be starting the APHL-CDC Bioinformatics Fellowship in the fall.
Tiffany’s LinkedIn profile
Twitter: @tyhsu389
Posts by Tiffany Hsu


Xin Huang

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKdAAAAJDRmMGM4YjZiLTRjMTUtNDJiZi04MTg4LWY0NTIzMTgxOWFlYg.jpgXin is a postdoc at Dr. Julie Segre’s lab at NIH’s National Human Genome Research Insitute in Bethesda (MD, USA). Before that, he did his PhD in the Armbruster Lab at Georgetown University. His current research topic is skin microbiome and the causal relationship between Staphylococcus aureus and eczema.
Xin’s LinkedIn profile
Posts by Xin Huang


Anitha Isaiah

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 11.10.01 AM.pngAnitha is a graduate student at Texas A&M University. She graduated from Bharathiar University, India with a Master of Science in Microbiology in 2010. She then pursued a Master of Philosophy in Biomedical Technology from Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, India. Following her passion for teaching, she worked as a lecturer in microbiology, Sree Sankara College, India. She started her PhD program at A&M’s Gastrointestinal laboratory in the spring of 2014. Her research interests include metagenomics and small animal gastrointestinal microbiome.
Anitha’s profile page at Texas A&M University
Posts by Anitha Isaiah


Amy Jacobson

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 7.19.49 PM.pngAmy is a graduate student in Michael Fischbach’s lab at UCSF, San Francisco (CA, USA). Her research is focused on understanding how Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron interacts with the mammalian immune system mediated by the unique structure of its lipopolysaccharide. She is also very interested in science communication.
Amy’s LinkedIn profile
Posts by Amy Jacobson


Edward Messick

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 8.52.39 PM.pngEdward is a recent graduate (MSc Bioinformatics, NJIT), and, before that, attended pharmacy school at Rutgers University before switching into CS/Cell Bio/Neuroscience for his undergraduate. He has worked for 4 years in the pharmaceutical industry/CRO’s. He currently works at GENEWIZ (NY, USA) and is interested in metagenomics and bioinformatics.
Edward’s LinkedIn profile
Posts by Edward Messick


Itumeleng Moroenyane

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 8.32.11 PM.pngItumeleng is a PhD candidate in the lab of Etienne Yergeau at INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Université du Québec, Canada. He is a microbial community ecologist with a keen interest in testing ecological theories of community assembly. His Ph.D. work focuses on understanding which assembly processes are delimiting the plant microbiome, as well as the evolutionary history of niche shifts and stability.
Itumeleng’s ResearchGate profile
Twitter: @Itumeleng_M
Posts by Itumeleng Moroenyane


Ashok Kumar Sharma

0Ashok Kumar Sharma is working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Here, his prime focus is to elucidate the host-microbe interactions using multi-omics approaches. Before joining here, he completed his Ph.D. in the year 2017 and the title of his Ph.D. work was the “Development of computational models and algorithms for designing of novel microbiome-based therapeutics”. During his Ph.D. project, he has become an independent programmer and written several codes using Perl and R. With his programming skills and experience in machine-learning, he has developed following computational methods for efficient analysis of genomic and metagenomic data.

Posts by Ashok Kumar Sharma


Tina Šilović

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 8.48.02 PM.pngTina is a microbial ecologist studying marine microbes in the water column. She did a 2 year postdoc in France on the prototype of a new automated instrument designed to count marine bacteria in real time. In 2017, she moved back to Croatia, where she holds a research associate position at the Center for Marine Research at the Ruđer Bošković Institute. She is interested in microbial ecology and science communication.
Tina’s ResearchGate profile
Tina’s profile at the Ruđer Bošković Institute
Posts by Tina Silovic



Svetlana Ugarcina Perovic

leKSHSeG_400x400Svetlana Ugarcina Perovic is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at UCIBIO/REQUIMTE (University of Porto), from 2016 in the Research Group of Dr Luisa Peixe, that is dedicated to investigating ecology and evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria in different ecological niches. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and a Ph.D. in Environmental Microbiology from University of Novi Sad (Serbia). Her postdoctoral work at University of Glasgow (2014) and University of Porto (2015) focused on drinking water microbiome in distribution systems. Her current research interests include capturing the diversity and exploring the role of urinary microbiota in women health and disease. She is an organizing committee member of the MicroMundo@UPorto, a service-learning project for education in microbiology and antimicrobial resistance awareness.
Twitter: @svetlana_up
Posts by Svetlana Ugarcina Perovic



Alyson Yee

Screen Shot 2019-03-01 at 10.36.27 AMAlyson is an MD/PhD student in Jack Gilbert’s lab at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She is interested in the interplay between the human microbiome in early life, the developing immune system, and long term health outcomes.
Alyson’s LinkedIn profile
Twitter: @yee_alyson
Posts by Alyson Yee


Past members: 

Jennifer Barrell – 4 posts

Kristen Farley – 2 posts

Andrew Forgie – 1 post

Alyaa Mahmoud – 4 posts

Galit Meshulam-Simon – 7 posts

Mohammed Nabil Quraishi – 4 posts

Vinícius Salazar – 12 posts

Garrett Wilson – 3 posts