Sarkis Mazmanian

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Sarkis K. Mazmanian
BornDecember 19, 1972
ResidencePasadena, California
NationalityArmenian American
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materUniversity of California at Los Angeles, B.S. (1995), Ph. D. (2002)
AwardsHelen Hay Whitney Fellowship (2002) Searle Scholarship (2006) MacArthur Fellowship (2012)
Scientific career
FieldsMicrobiology Immunology Neuroscience
InstitutionsCalifornia Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Sarkis Mazmanian is a medical microbiologist. He has been employed at the California Institute of Technology since 2006, and is currently the Luis & Nelly Soux Professor of Microbiology in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering. Before his current position, he was associated with the University of Chicago and Harvard Medical School.[1] In 2012, Mazmanian was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for his pioneering work on the human microbiome.


Mazmanian's research investigates the symbiotic relationship between beneficial bacteria and their hosts. In seminal work, Mazmanian discovered the first microbial molecule that has direct beneficial effects on mammals. He showed in 2005 that a particular bacterial species, Bacteroides fragilis, from the human microbiome augments immune function and balances a dysregulated immune system. Mazmanian has described and defined a novel paradigm in science whereby the gut microbiome intricately controls the development and function of the mammalian immune system. These discoveries include the demonstration that B. fragilis can treat experimental inflammatory bowel disease by inducing the activity of protective, regulatory immune cells. Further, his laboratory revealed that the gut microbiome impacts autoimmune diseases such as experimental multiple sclerosis.


  1. ^ "Sarkis Mazmanian". MacArthur Foundation. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2015.