Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2019
Home Department: Genetics
Faculty Advisors: KC Huang (Bioengineering and Microbiology & Immunology) and Michael Fischbach (Bioengineering)

Research Title: General Genetic Tools for Discovery of Functional Pathways in the Human Gut Microbiota

Research Description: Microbial species within the gastrointestinal tract play critical roles in human health and disease. Challenges in genetic engineering are a primary bottleneck in annotating the molecular functions of genes within this community, thus there is a general lack of understanding of the genetic pathways and interactions essential for metabolism, physiology, and stress responses of the gut microbiota. Rebecca proposes to establish large-scale functional genomic methods that can be used systematically to characterize many genes and require very little species-specific re-tooling. She hopes to lay the foundation for a new species-agnostic era of interrogating and exploiting microbial function across the diverse species that interact with human hosts by combining the fields of bacterial physiology with the CRISPR technology and analysis of metabolic pathways.


Rebecca is a scientist at Hexagon Bio.