‘Father of microbiome’ honored for revealing importance of gut microbes in human health, disease
From the WashU Newsroom…
Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been awarded the 2017 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize by Columbia University. The award is one of the top prizes honoring contributions to the biological sciences. Forty-three Horwitz Prize awardees have gone on to win Nobel Prizes.
Gordon’s work, spanning more than two decades, has led to a fundamental shift in understanding the roles of microbes in human health and disease. His work has demonstrated that the gut microbiome functions as a microbial organ within the larger human organism. Research in Gordon’s lab has shown that when this microbial organ becomes dysfunctional, it leads to disease, including obesity, and childhood malnutrition — two of the world’s most urgent health problems.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized by Columbia University with the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize,” said Gordon, the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor and director of the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology at the School of Medicine. “This award is also a testament to the talent, inspiration and work ethic of the many doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, staff and collaborators I have had the pleasure and the privilege of working with over the years.”
Gordon has served as a mentor to more than 125 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows since his lab was established at Washington University. Many have gone on to become leaders in the microbiome field and describe their time in his lab as transformative.