Friday, December 21, 2018

Two Postdoc Positions Available

Two postdoctoral positions are offered to join the Bordenstein Lab in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. The candidates will join one of two projects.
  • (Closed) The first project seeks applicants with interests and/or skill sets in personalized medicine and multi-omic analyses (genome, metabolome, metagenome, and metallome) to investigate the consequences of diet, ethnicity, and genetic variation on the human microbiome (recent paper). The candidate will join and have the opportunity to take a leading role in the fast growing, trans-institutional Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative.  Strong computational expertise (data analysis, coding, and bioinformatics) will be important in this position.
  • (Closed) The second project seeks applicants with interests and skill sets in animal-microbe interactions, evolution, endosymbiosis, phylosymbiosis, quantitative genetics, transcriptomes, fluorescent microscopy, or gene knockdowns/knockouts. The candidate will in part join a National Science Foundation project to study the genetic basis of symbioses between insects (Nasonia parasitoid wasps) and endosymbiotic bacteria (Wolbachia). The candidate will also participate in launching a second project (related paper) on the genetic basis of phylosymbiosis (host phylogenetic signal in the gut microbiome) and speciation. 
More information about the lab, topics, and systems can be found at the lab website:

Additional information and resources for postdocs at Vanderbilt can be found at the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and Postdoctoral Resources pages.

If interested, please contact Seth Bordenstein immediately with a single pdf including (i) earliest start date (ii) a full curriculum vitae noting at least three references (iii) a statement of intent, career goal, research experience, and areas of growth and (iv) two example publications or other writings.

Vanderbilt University campus is a National Arboretum located in the heart of Nashville, the capital of Tennessee, and known internationally as “Music City USA”. Nashville is also the home to Nashville Hot Chicken, professional sports teams, the Nashville Symphony, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and numerous activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Nashville, Tennessee is a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

New publication on the ethnicity hypothesis for gut microbiome variation

Our latest research published at PLOS Biology last week answers the question of whether self-declared ethnicity significantly associates with the diversity of microbes in human gut microbiomes, particularly from individuals residing in the same country. Importantly, results are replicated across two datasets within the United States of America, and we identify 12 microbial taxa that consistently vary in abundance between ethnicities. Machine learning approaches were able to predict ethnicity from the gut microbiome data alone. Many of the 12 taxa also associate with human genotype variation, and some have been linked to gut health disparities. While the work remains to be replicated in larger datasets, this one is a small step towards potentially adding the microbiome into more personalized health and medicine approaches. The work was led by senior graduate student Andy Brooks and was conducted in collaboration with the Blekhman lab at the University of Minnesota.