Our lab harnesses the complexity of soil, plant root, and gut microbiomes as a source for antibiotics and resistance genes.
Research in the Handelsman lab focuses on understanding diversity in microbial communities and their role in infectious disease. We are interested in understanding the genetic basis for stability of microbial communities, the interactions in a model community, and the impact of interventions on the gut microbiome and the soil microbial community.
We apply metagenomics, genetics, and small molecule analysis to study microbial diversity, antibiotic resistance, and symbioses in communities in soil, on plant roots, and in the human gut. We developed a three-species model community to study the nature of community robustness, invasion processes, and emergent properties of microbial communities, named THOR for “The Hitchhikers of the Rhizosphere.”
The Handelsman lab specializes in understanding microbial communities and their impacts on plant, soil, and human environments. Our aim is to reduce the dimensions of highly complex systems through both experimental design and data analysis. The results of our work will affect the management of plant and human disease and suggest interventions that alter microbiomes in a predictable and reliable manner.