Integrated approaches to analyze big data in the perinatal/neonatal space

Rob Knight, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science and Engineering,
and founding Director of the Center for Microbiome
Innovation, University of California San Diego, La Jolla,
California, USA
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Speaker Bio -Rob Knight, PhD

Dr. Rob Knight received his PhD from Princeton University and performed postdoctoral work at the University of Colorado–Boulder, where he became Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Computer Science at the BioFrontiers Institute. He is currently Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Computer Science and Engineering and founding Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at the University of California San Diego. He is also co-founder of the Earth Microbiome Project, the American Gut Project, and the company Biota, Inc., which uses DNA from microbes in the earth’s subsurface to guide oilfield decisions for industry.

Dr. Knight’s research focuses on developing computational and experimental techniques to characterize the complex microbial ecosystems of humans, animals, and the environment. His work has linked microbes to a range of health conditions, including obesity and inflammatory bowel disease, has enhanced our understanding of microbes in environments ranging from the oceans to the tundra, and has made high-throughput sequencing techniques (QIIME pipeline, UniFrac) accessible to researchers worldwide. Dr. Knight is extensively published in his field and has established numerous collaborations with experts across disciplines. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and of the American Academy of Microbiology. Dr. Knight was selected to be a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist in 2009, invited to give a TED talk in 2014, and received the 2015 Vilceck Prize in Creative Promise for the Life Sciences. He is also the author of the well-received book Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes, published in 2015, and co-author of the book Dirt Is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System, published in 2017..