Our mission: Leverage our knowledge of the gut microbiome
to advance human and animal welfare

Mounting evidence demonstrates that the gut microbiome contributes to homeostasis. Moreover, alterations to the microbiome can impact physiology. These observations implicate the microbiome in human and animal health and disease. Consequently, we may be able to improve both clinical and wildlife preservation outcomes by defining the specific ways through which the gut microbiome impacts physiology.

Unfortunately, the aspects of the gut microbiome that make it a fascinating research topic - namely its complexity - challenges discovery of these microbiome-mediated mechanisms of health. A diverse array of microbes potentially interact with myriad aspects of animal physiology and these interactions may be mediated by various environmental features, such as diet, pathogens, drugs, or toxicants. Indeed, ascertaining how the microbiome influences specific diseases or disorders is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack.

We develop and apply systems biology research tools that deconvolute this complexity to uncover how the microbiome contributes to physiology and how these contributions impact human and animal health, ecology, and evolution. In particular, we innovate and integrate biological, computational, and analytical tools that yield specific hypotheses about how the microbiome contributes to health or how particular exogenous features disrupt this contribution. Subsequent experimentation tests these hypotheses to assess their validity. Our long term goal is to use our knowledge of the gut microbiome to develop novel clinical diagnostics and therapeutics, and improve our ability to monitor and manage wildlife populations.

We are located at Oregon State University and are affiliated with the Department of Microbiology, the Department of Statistics, the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing, and the OSU Microbiome Initiative.

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Learn more about our program, people, and resources

  • Research Areas

    We manage a rich array of interdisciplinary research projects that center on understanding the gut microbiome's contribution to health. Our studies frequently involve metagenomic investigations of animal models, human clinical populations, or wildlife and often include methodological and technological innovation.

  • Publications

    See the full catalog of scientific publications that the lab has produced as well as the news media that covers our work.

  • Lab Members

    Talented scientists, including exceptional trainees, fuel the productivity and advance the mission of our laboratory.

  • Microbiome Core Facility & Consulting

    Our laboratory offers various services to the professional community, including a fee-for-service microbiome data generation and analysis core facilty, consulting, and contractual research arrangements.

  • Data, Software, and Resources

    Advocates of open science, we make all software and data associated with our research publicly available upon publication. Our efforts also often result in new research tools, such as software and databases, that advance microbiome research.

  • Lab Resources and Protocols

    Members of our laboratory implement a variety of services and protocols to conduct their research. The link above organizes access to information pertinent to our research environment.

Contact Us

email: thomas[dot]sharpton[at]oregonstate[dot]edu
mail: 226 Nash Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR, 97331
twitter: @tjsharpton