Jonathan P. Jacobs, MD, PhD
Director, Microbiome Core, UCLA Microbiome Center
Dr. Jacobs is a gastroenterologist and scientist studying the role of intestinal microbes in digestive diseases. He graduated magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard University with an AB in biochemistry. He subsequently received his MD from Harvard Medical School, graduating magna cum laude in a special field. During college and medical school, he trained in an immunology laboratory studying rheumatoid arthritis with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Stanford University then joined UCLA to pursue gastroenterology training in the Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) program. He was awarded a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Pathology for his IBD microbiome research under the mentorship of Jonathan Braun and afterwards joined the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Division of Digestive Diseases faculty. He co-founded the UCLA Microbiome Center in 2015 and now directs the Microbiome Core, which provides a comprehensive suite of microbiome-related services to support microbiome research by the UCLA scientific community. His research has been published in a wide range of scientific journals including Gastroenterology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Microbiome, Gut Microbes, and Scientific Reports. Ongoing projects in his laboratory employ animal models and multi’omics analysis of patient cohorts to define the role of microbes and their products in IBD, obesity, colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, and other diseases..
Venu Lagishetty, PhD
Manager, Microbiome Core, UCLA Microbiome Center
Tien S. Dong, MD, PhD
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine
Nerea Arias, PhD
Yi Zhou, MS
Visiting Graduate Researcher
Zhou is a senior PhD student majoring in preventive veterinary medicine at Sichuan Agricultural University, China. He works in the Jacobs Laboratory as a visiting graduate researcher through a two-year CSC (China Scholarship Council) scholarship. Zhou has been engaged in animal microecology research since starting his master's degree in 2013. For his PhD thesis project, he has investigated the effect of panda derived probiotics on the intestinal microbiome and immune system of pandanized mice (i.e. mice colonized with panda-derived microbiota) in the setting of DSS-induced colitis. Zhou has joined the Jacobs Laboratory to study the effects of Crohn's disease associated genetic variants on the intestinal microbiota and susceptibility to intestinal inflammation. This has provided him with the opportunity for additional training in gnotobiotic models and microbiome data analysis as he completes his PhD training.
Kang Lee, MD, PhD
Aaron is an undergraduate at UCLA pursuing a degree in biochemistry. Aaron's past research experience includes working at Biomerica, a biomedical company located in Irvine, CA. There he worked on a diagnostic project aimed at identifying foods in an individual's diet that can cause a heightened immune response and when removed, can alleviate symptoms of a number of digestive diseases including Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This research led him to join the Jacobs lab, where he has been involved in a study that aims to better characterize the brain-gut-microbiome axis and its role in gastrointestinal diseases. His other lab responsibilities include performing microbial DNA extraction and 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing of human and animal samples. After completing his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, Aaron hopes to pursue an MD along with a PhD in medicinal chemistry.
Albert is a second year biology major from Sacramento, California. He joined the lab to gain experience with biomedical research and learn more about how our microbiome plays a role in our health. His long-term goal is to attend medical school and ultimately become either a primary care physician or a pathologist, depending on whether he decides on a primarily clinical or research focus for his career. Albert enjoys drawing, playing games, cooking, and going to church.
Jason is a second year UCLA undergraduate student from Warren, New Jersey, who is pursuing a degree in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. He is particularly interested in cancer research and was inspired by his work on a clinical cancer drug trial at Bristol-Myers Squibb and as a research assistant at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at the Tuomas Tammela Lab. As an undergraduate in the Jacobs Laboratory, he strives to contribute to ongoing microbiome research projects and to develop his capability in research in general. Jason plans to one day attend medical school and pursue a career in oncology. In his free time, Jason enjoys jogging, weightlifting, playing chess, and reading.