Rob Knight (biologist)

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Rob Knight (born 1976 in Dunedin, New Zealand)[1] is a professor at the University of California, San Diego and the co-founder of the American Gut Project. He is also a co-founder of the Earth Microbiome Project, and his lab's research involves the development of laboratory and computational techniques to characterize the microbiomes of humans, animals, and the environment.

Knight completed a BSc in biochemistry at the University of Otago and a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University in 2001,[2] where his thesis was "The Origin and Evolution of the Genetic Code."[3][4] Until 2014, he was a professor at the University of Colorado – Boulder.[5]

He did an IAmA on Reddit[6] and co-taught an online microbiome course on Coursera[7]. He gave a TED Talk in 2014 on the role microbes play on our health.[8][9] Later this idea was expanded into the book Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes,[10][11] written with science journalist Brendan Buhler and published by Simon & Schuster.

In 2015, he received the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science.[12]

American Gut Project[edit]

The American Gut Project, which claims to be the world's largest crowdfunded and crowdsourced scientific research project,[13] aims to characterize the human microbiome—the diverse communities of microorganisms that live in and on the human body.[14] Participants make a monetary contribution and submit personal microbiome samples, and receive information about their microbiome.[15]


  1. ^ Gewin, Virginia (11 July 2012). "Microbes en masse: The sequencing machine". Nature. 35-year-old, Knight
  2. ^ "Rob Knight profile". LinkedIn.
  3. ^ Bland, Jeffrey (June 2016). "June 2016 Issue: Rob Knight". Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  4. ^ Gibb, John (April 2009). "Prestigious award delights scientist". The Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  5. ^ Robbins, Gary (11 January 2015). "UCSD hires star biologist Rob Knight". The San Diego Union-Tribune.
  6. ^ "I'm Professor Rob Knight. Let's talk about the lessons we can learn from poop...I mean, the millions of marvelous microscopic creatures inhabiting your gut". reddit.
  7. ^ "Gut Check: Exploring Your Microbiome". Coursera.
  8. ^ "Rob Knight: How our microbes make us who we are". TED. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Colorado biochemist Rob Knight on TED: Microbes make us who we are". Genetic Literacy Project. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  10. ^ "TED Book: Follow Your Gut". TED. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Ideas worth spreading about microbes: review of "Follow Your Gut" by Rob Knight". Gut Microbiota News Watch. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  12. ^ "CSE Faculty Affiliate Honored with Vilcek Prize | Computer Science and Engineering". Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  13. ^ "About Knight Lab". American Gut. 1 November 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  14. ^ "FAQs". American Gut. 1 November 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  15. ^ "We Are Citizen Science". American Gut. 1 November 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2017.

External links[edit]