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Assistant Professor, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology

Research Summary

Lawrence David has expertise in ecology, genomics, human diet, and fecal biomarkers. He received a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia and graduate degree in Computational & Systems Biology at MIT. At MIT he became familiar with concepts in microbial genomics, ecology, and evolution: After his doctoral work, he was chosen to be a Junior Fellow at Harvard’s Society of Fellows where he focused his research on new DNA metabarcoding techniques that had been developed for tracking bacterial communities in human stool. He combined DNA metabarcoding of fecal bacterial communities with diet tracking to show that fiber-rich foods could shape gut microbiota. He also combined DNA metabarcoding of bacteria in stool with a controlled feeding trial to show how human gut microbiota could respond within a day to high-fat diets. His research now explores the interface of nutrition and metabarcoding studies where he has shown how gut microbial resource availability is shaped by host diet, physiology, and microbial communities.

Relevance of Research to CGIBD Mission:  Dr. David’s research is relevant to the CGIBD focus on the interaction between intestinal microbes and the host. He was supported by a CGIBD pilot/feasibility award.

CGIBD Focus Area(s):  Microbiome

Pilot Feasibility Award 2017

Collaborators:  Rawls

Lawrence David