Hello! We're glad you stopped by. Our lab is filled with the smells of cheese microbes (not always a good thing), and the sights and sounds of scientific discovery (always a good thing). We like to study microbes because they are so darn important, and we do it using cheese because it is a small, simplified slice of a fascinating microbial world.
A brief history of the lab:
- 2010: Rachel was awarded a Bauer Fellowship at the Harvard FAS Center for Systems Biology. She decided to focus her time as a Bauer Fellow developing an experimental system to study microbial communities. And this system was based on cheese. Collaborations with cheesemakers around the world were initiated, the first of which was with Jasper Hill Farm and Cellars, where Rachel spent two months doing an internship in cheesemaking and aging.
- 2011: Two talented postdocs joined the lab, Benjamin Wolfe and Julie Button. Research in the lab was in full swing, with cheese samples being collected and characterized. The lab began collaborating with Momofuku to help them better understand the microbes involved in traditional fermentations. Ben and Rachel help explain the microbiology of some of these fermentations on Season 1, Episode 2 of the PBS series, The Mind of a Chef.
- 2012: Science, science, and more science! Julie and Rachel publish a short review on cheese microbes. Rachel and fellow Bauer Fellow Peter Turnbaugh publish a review on how microbiology impacts human nutrition. Oh, and Rachel was in the NY Times! For Gastronomists, a Go-To Microbiologist
- 2013: Still more science! It takes a long time to develop a new system! In the meantime, the work the lab is doing is featured in Edible Boston.
- 2014: A big year for the lab. The paper describing the past four years of work in the lab was published in Cell. We got the journal cover, and we were asked to do a video abstract, which was a lot of fun! Check it out! Ben and Rachel also published a book chapter in the ASM Press book, Cheese and Microbes. Ben Wolfe got a position as an Assistant Professor at Tufts University, and Julie Button got a position as a Scientist at microbiome start-up Seres Health! Kevin Bonham joined the lab as a postdoc, and Dan Rubin began working as the lab undergrad. As I said, a big year!
- 2015: As the fifth and final year of the Bauer Fellowship comes to an end, the lab will be moving to it's wonderful and sunny new home at UC San Diego! Rachel will be starting a position as an Assistant Professor in Division of Biological Sciences. Here's to many more years of science and new adventures in lab!