Nathaniel D. Chu
I am fascinated by two questions: What processes govern the evolution and ecology of microbial communities? And how can we harness these processes to create practical solutions to problems in human and ecological health? Toward this end, I am currently investigating the connections between our gut microbes and behavior: the "gut-brain axis." In particular, what biochemical and ecological mechanisms underpin the comorbidity of gastrointestinal disorders, metabolic diseases (e.g., obesity and diabetes), and behavioral disorders (e.g., depression and anxiety)? Working with collaborators from MIT and private biotechnology companies, I am using experimental and computational tools to discover new targets and pathways for treating these disease families. I am also developing new tools to improve therapies involving fecal microbiota transplants and studying hypermutation in marine microbial communities. Besides science, I get excited about alpinism, outdoor education, and environmental conservation. For more information, please see. my website.