Blekhman Named McKnight Land-Grant Professor

February 06, 2018

The CBS faculty member receives accolades for his work studying the impact the microbiome has on human health.

Ran Blekhman

Ran Blekhman was recently named a 2018-20 McKnight Land-Grant Professor in an announcement by the University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. Blekhman is an assistant professor with joint appointments in the departments of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior.

The McKnight Land-Grant Professor program works to advance the careers of new assistant professors at the University of Minnesota. Professors named to the program receive a $25,000 research grant in each of the two years of their professorship.

“Ran is at the forefront of the new field of computational genetics whose goal is to understand the genetic basis of complex gene interactions that contribute to both disease progression and evolutionary processes,” says Michael O’Connor, head of the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development.

Blekhman studies how humans’ microbiomes play a role in their overall health. His research includes developing analytical approaches and technology to evaluate genomic data from humans and their associated microbial communities. Through these methods, he aims to understand how the microbiome impacts diseases and develop potential therapies in this expanding field.