Weinstock Lab

Enterococcus faecalis lives in the human gut.

The Weinstock lab focuses on the use of genome analysis to connect genotype to phenotype and uncover fundamental biological principles. The group applies high-throughput DNA sequencing, genome-wide analysis, bioinformatics and other genetic methods to the study of human, model organism and microbial genomes.

The lab concentrates mainly on the sequencing of microbial genomes, as well as metagenomic studies for infectious disease, evolutionary, environmental and other studies. This includes studying the human microbiome, which is the collection of microbes that colonize the human body. The goal of this work is to analyze the genomes of these organisms, characterize the communities they form and measure how communities change in different health and disease states.

In addition to microbial and model organism research, the lab is engaged in human genome sequencing and human disease mutation discovery. They are putting effort into a number of human genetic studies of disease including retinitis pigmentosa, host susceptibility to infection and cleft palate.

Current Projects
Human Microbiome Project (HMP)
The human microbiome is the collection of microbes that colonize the human body. The Genome Institute is applying next generation sequencing technology to analyze the genomes of these organisms and characterize the communities they form in healthy and diseased individuals. This research could ultimately provide doctors with new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for a number of diseases. Human microbiome-related projects include:

  • Human Microbiome Demonstration Projects
  • The Healthy Human Microbiome
  • The Human Virome
  • Catalog of Reference Genomes
  • Effect of the Pneumococcus Vaccine on the Microbiome

Human Genetics Projects
These projects, which involve analyzing the human genome to understand its involvement in various disorders, include:

  • Cleft Lip/Palate
  • Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa

Past Projects
Human Gut Microbiome
A precursor to the Human Microbiome Project, this project sought to deliver a more comprehensive view of our biology by providing deep draft whole genome sequences for 100 species representing the bacterial divisions known to reside in the distal gut.