Our lab studies human genomic factors that control and interact with the microbiome. We utilize high-throughput genomics technologies and employ computational, statistical, network-theory, data mining, and population genetic analytical approaches, with the goal of understanding how we interact with our microbial communities, how host-microbe interactions affect human disease, and how the symbiosis between us and our microbiome evolved.
Selected Publications: PubMed
Burns MB, Montassier E, Abrahante J, Priya S, Niccum DE, Khoruts A, Starr TK, Knights D, Blekhman R. Colorectal cancer mutational profiles correlate with defined microbial communities in the tumor microenvironment. PLoS Genet. 2018 Jun 20;14(6):e1007376. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007376. eCollection 2018 Jun. PubMed PMID: 29924794; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6028121.
Functional genomics of host–microbiome interactions in humans F. Luca, S. S. Kupfer, D. Knights, A. Khoruts, and R. Blekhman Trends in Genetics 2017
HOMINID: A framework for identifying associations between host genetic variation and microbiome composition J. Lynch, K. Tang, S. Priya, J. Sands, M. Sands, E. Tang, S. Mukherjee, D. Knights, and R. Blekhman. GigaScience 2017
Genetic ancestry and natural selection drive population differences in immune responses to pathogens. Y. Nédélec, J. Sanz, G. Baharian, Z. A. Szpiech, A. Pacis, A. Dumaine, J.C. Grenier, A. Freiman, A. J. Sams, S. Hebert, A. P. Sabourin, F. Luca, R. Blekhman, R. D. Hernandez, R. Pique-Regi, J. Tung, V. Yotova, and L. B. Barreiro. Cell, 2016
Gut microbiome of coexisting BaAka pygmies and Bantu reflects gradients of traditional subsistence patterns. A. Gomez, K. Petrzelkova, M. B. Burns, C. J. Yeoman, K. R. Amato, K. Vlckova, D. Modry, A. Todd, C. A. Jost Robinson, M. Remis, M. Torralba, E. Morton, J. D. Umana, F. Carbonero, H. R. Gaskins, K. E. Nelson, B. A. Wilson, R. M. Stumpf, B. A. White, S. R. Leigh, and R. Blekhman. Cell Reports, 2016
Host genetic variation impacts microbiome composition across human body sites. R. Blekhman, J. K. Goodrich, K. Huang, Q. Sun, R. Bukowski, J. T. Bell, T. D. Spector, A. Keinan, R. E. Ley, D. Gevers, and A. G. Clark. Genome Biology, 2015
Variation in rural African gut microbiota is strongly correlated with colonization by Entamoeba and subsistence. E. R. Morton, J. Lynch, A. Froment, S. Lafosse , E. Heyer , M. Przeworski, R. Blekhman, and L. Segurel. PLOS Genetics, 2015
Virulence genes are a signature of the microbiome in the colorectal tumor microenvironment. M. B. Burns, J. Lynch, T. K. Starr, D. Knights, and R. Blekhman. Genome Medicine, 2015
Social networks predict gut microbiome composition in wild baboons. J. Tung, L. B. Barreiro, M. B. Burns, J.-C. Grenier, J. Lynch, L. E. Grieneisen, J. Altmann, S. C. Alberts, R. Blekhman, and E. A. Archie. eLife, 2015
Human genetics shape the gut microbiome. J. K. Goodrich, J. L. Waters, A. C. Poole, J. L. Sutter, O. Koren, R. Blekhman, M. Beaumont, W. Van Treuren, R. Knight, J. T. Bell, T. Spector, A. G. Clark, and R. E. Ley. Cell, 2014