Rob Knight, PhD


Director, Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI)

University of California San Diego 

La Jolla, California

Rob Knight is the founding director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation and professor of pediatrics, bioengineering and computer science and engineering at UC San Diego. Before that, he was professor of chemistry and biochemistry and computer science at the BioFrontiers Institute of the University of Colorado at Boulder and an HHMI Early Career Scientist. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Microbiology.  He received the 2017 Massry Prize for his microbiome research. In 2015, he received the Vilcek Prize in Creative Promise for the Life Sciences. He is the author of “Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes” (Simon & Schuster, 2015), coauthor of “Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System” (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) and spoke at TED in 2014. His lab has produced many of the software tools and laboratory techniques that enabled high-throughput microbiome science, including the QIIME pipeline (cited over 12,000 times as of this writing) and UniFrac (cited over 7000 times, including its web interface). He is co-founder of the Earth Microbiome Project, the American Gut Project, and the company Biota, Inc., which uses DNA from microbes in the subsurface to guide oilfield decisions. 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 accessible to thousands of researchers around the world. Dr. Knight can be followed on Twitter (@knightlabnews) or on his websitehttp://knightlab.ucsd.edu/.

Speaker Disclosure Statement:

Rob Knight, PhD, has disclosed that he participated on the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) member for Janssen, CommenSe, and Prometheus. He has served as a consultant for CommenSe and Prometheus. Additionally, he has received research support from J&J and is an honorarium recipient/invited speaker for Genentech.