Apr 12 2015
Rob Knight was named winner of a Creative Promise Prize in Biomedical Science for his groundbreaking research on microbial communities and the development of computational tools that honed the analysis of microbial data. Dr. Knight is a professor of pediatrics and computer science & engineering at the University of California, San Diego. His computational and experimental approaches have led to rapid and cost-effective microbial DNA sequencing methods and data analysis platforms that help to understand similarities among microbial communities based on their evolutionary relationships. Dr. Knight has used informatics to show how maps of distinct microbes thriving in different parts of the human body change over time, how human-associated microbes can influence metabolic health, and how microbes can be used as timekeepers to help establish the time of death in forensic examinations. He has also set out to catalog the diverse kinds of microbes found in ecosystems across the globe in an ambitious, collaborative effort called the Earth Microbiome Project. Dr. Knight's book Follow Your Gut was published by TED Books in April 2015. Rob Knight was born in Dunedin, New Zealand.