Rather than focusing on a specific microbiome — such as the human gut or soil — we explore all microbiomics in search of universal rules that can be applied across communities. All of our fundamental research occurs with an eye toward applying what we learn to improve human and planetary well-being.

Current projects

We explore the biology of human and animal gut, lung and oral microbiomes and their influences on health. Starting from the ground up, our exploration begins with the biology of soil and plant-associated microbiomes. Our discoveries have applications ranging from agriculture and genetically modified organisms to arid-land conversation.  

In addition, we investigate the presence, relevance, use and management of microbiomes in manmade environments such as spacecraft, landfills, mining operations or bioenergy reactors.  

Drawing from our studies we develop basic biological theories of microbiome assemblage, evolution and function, with applicability to all of the above.    


To unravel rules of the microbiome, our team has the following capabilities and resources: 

  • Microbiome DNA sequencing core.   
  • Mobile lab to study desert soil microbes in situ.   
  • Expertise in metabolomics, gut microbiomes, viromes, nutrition, nursing, and ocean and terrestrial ecosystems.   
  • Connections with local clinical networks for human studies.    

To make progress and advancement in microbiome research requires access to state-of-the-art DNA sequencing facilities to better understand the identity and function of microbial communities. Currently, the Biodesign Institute houses a core lab and sequencing facility: Microbiome Lab  DNASU Genomics Core. Our team has access to other core facilities

Support the Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics

Understanding systems of microbes and their relevance for human, animal and plant biology; the environment; and man-made systems.