Scientific Advisors

Martin J. Blaser, MD, is a leader in promoting awareness of the long-term impact of changes in the human microbiome, including those due to antibiotic use. He is the Frederick H. King Professor of Internal Medicine and Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Professor of Microbiology at New York University School of Medicine. He is a member of the editorial boards of Cell Host and Microbe, FASEB Journal, Helicobacter, Emerging Infectious Diseases, and Microbiome, amongst others, and is Senior Editor of Cancer Prevention Research. He has published extensively on how changes in the human microbiome impact the development of several of the illnesses that have been increasing in recent years, including esophageal diseases, obesity, diabetes, and asthma. He has served as President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute, and is Vice Chair of the Advisory Board for Clinical Research at the NIH. Dr. Blaser's laboratory currently focuses on the biology of H. pylori and Campylobacter species and on the constituents of the human microbiome, with reference to the interactions that lead to or protect from disease.

Jerrold M. Olefsky, MD, is Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and the Associate Dean of Scientific Affairs for the UCSD School of Medicine. His work has been instrumental in defining the basic genetic and cellular mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis of Type II Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and other diseases. Dr. Olefsky is a member of the Institute of Medicine and was the 1998 recipient of the American Diabetes Association’s Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement. 

R. Balfour Sartor, MD, is the Midgette Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, and Co-Director of the UNC Multidisciplinary Center for IBD Research and Treatment. He is a nationally and internationally recognized authority on mucosal immunology and inflammatory bowel disease. His research focuses on better defining mechanisms of chronic intestinal inflammation, mucosal homeostasis and identifying new areas for therapeutic intervention for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. His lab investigates the ability of specific components of the intestinal microbiota to induce chronic T-cell mediated inflammation in genetically susceptible hosts as compared to a protective mucosal immune response in normal hosts. Additional studies explore the ability for dietary products to modify the composition and function of intestinal microbiota. Recent work has extended these microbial-host interactions to analysis of human samples, comparing healthy subjects to both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients. Dr. Sator is currently the Chief Medial Advisor to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). 

Justin Sonnenburg, PhD, is widely recognized for his groundbreaking research on the interactions between gut microbiota and human intestinal environment. Dr. Sonnenburg is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. In 2011 he was a recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award and is a prior recipient of the NIH Directors New Innovator Award. The Sonnenburg Laboratory is currently focused on understanding basic principles that govern interactions within the intestinal microbiota and between the microbiota and the host using germ-free (gnotobiotic) mice with simplified, model microbial communities.

Founding Advisors

Gary Andersen, PhD, is a Second Genome co-founder and technology pioneer in microbial analysis. He is the Group Leader for Molecular and Microbial Ecology in the Ecology Department of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is also the lead inventor on numerous patents related to microbial analysis, including PhyloChip technology, winner of the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation and R&D100 awards. Dr. Andersen's laboratory research uses molecular approaches to study the dynamics of microbial community structure in the environment, including the development of new techniques to dissect the microbial diversity of complex ecosystems.

Janet A. Warrington PhD, has more than 25 years of experience in biotechnology, devices and diagnostics R&D. Dr. Warrington helped build Affymetrix from a small start-up to a multi-billion dollar market cap corporation, serving in a variety of roles including Vice President, Research and Development, Molecular Diagnostics. She initiated and led a coalition of over 200 scientists to create and establish the first internationally recognized standard controls and methods universally applicable to genomic technologies. Janet has been awarded over $70 million in public and private research funding, published more than 60 scientific papers and book chapters, and awarded several patents. Janet earned her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from UC Irvine, and was a Department of Energy supported postdoctoral scholar in genetics at Stanford University.