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November 10, 2010

Dr. Jeffrey Gordon Delivers 2010 Cosloy-Blank Lecture

Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon, M.D.

Human Gut Microbiome Will Be Topic for December 8 Address

Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon, M.D., will deliver the 5th Annual Sharon Cosloy-Edward Blank Lecture at The City College of New York 4 p.m. Wednesday, December 8. His topic will be “The human gut microbiome: dining in with trillions of friends.” The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Room 250, Shepard Hall, and will be followed by a reception in Room 150, Shepard Hall.

Dr. Gordon is the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and director of the school’s Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology, an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary research consortium. He joined the Washington University faculty after completing his clinical training in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and spending three years as a research associate at the National Institutes of Health.

He headed the school’s Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology from 1991-2004. From 1994 to 2003, he also served as director of the University’s Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, which oversees all PhD and MD/PhD students in the biological sciences. He has mentored more than 100 PhD students, MD/PhD students and post-doctoral fellows.

Dr. Gordon and his students have conducted interdisciplinary studies of the genomic and metabolic foundations of mutually beneficial host-microbial relationships in the human gut. His group has sequenced the genomes of individual prominent human gut symbionts, as well as the gut’s microbial community genome (microbiome). He has developed and used normal and genetically engineered gnotobiotic animal models to characterize how these microbes function in their habitats to benefit us.

His work emphasizes how our microbiota and ‘microbiome’ are manifestations of who we are genetically and metabolically, and how they are a reflection of our state of well-being. His findings have implications for 21st century medicine, as it further evolves its focus on disease prevention, new definitions of health, new ways to determine the origins of individual biological differences and new approaches to understand how changes in lifestyle, technology and biosphere impact human microbial ecology and evolution.

Dr. Gordon is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In 2000, he was chosen to be the first recipient of an annual outstanding Faculty Mentor Award established by the Graduate Student Council at Washington University. He received his A.B. from Oberlin College and his M.D. from the University of Chicago.

CCNY alumnus Edward Blank, ’57, established the lecture series in memory of his late wife, Professor Sharon Cosloy, who was a beloved member of the City College biology faculty for 27 years and served as Chair of the Biology Department. Sharon Cosloy was an adored mentor, educator, wife, mother and a passionate investigator of life and science. The lecture is presented by CCNY President Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico and the CCNY Department of Biology.

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