American Philosophical Society
Member History

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Resident (1)
2. Biological Sciences[X]
209. Neurobiology[X]
1Name:  Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon
 Institution:  Washington University School of Medicine
 Year Elected:  2014
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  209. Neurobiology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1947
Jeffrey Gordon is the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his A.B. from Oberlin College and his M.D. from the University of Chicago. He joined the Washington University faculty after completing his clinical training in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and doing post-doctoral research at the NIH. He was Head of the Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology from 1991-2004 before becoming the founding Director of a University-wide, Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology. His lab’s interdisciplinary studies of the genomic and metabolic foundations of mutually beneficial host-microbial relationships in the human gut have helped create a new field of research that focuses on understanding of the role of our microbial communities in shaping postnatal development, health status and disease predispositions. Gordon's work has provided an extended view of ourselves as a composite of species from all three domains of life, where genes in our gut microbial community genomes (microbiomes) endow us with attributes we have not had to evolve on our own. His group has developed new experimental and computational approaches to characterize the assembly and dynamic operations of human gut communities; this work has involved studies of gnotobiotic animal models, twins concordant or discordant for physiologic phenotypes, and children and adults representing diverse geographic, cultural and socio-economic conditions. A central issue he and his students have addressed and continue to pursue is how our gut microbiomes contribute to obesity and to childhood undernutrition. Their findings concerning how our gut microbiomes determine the metabolic, physiologic and immunologic effects of the various foods we consume are altering the way healthy diets can be defined, providing new views of how our changing lifestyles impact health, revealing how functional maturation of the microbiome is related to healthy growth of infants and children, and helping to usher in a new era of microbiome-directed therapeutics. Gordon has been the research mentor to 120 PhD and MD/PhD students and post-doctoral fellows since he established his lab at Washington University. Recently, working with colleagues in Bangladesh, Gordon has developed therapeutic foods designed to support and nurture the development of a healthy gut microbiome in the first few years of life. A new therapeutic food was shown to repair defective microbial community development in children with malnutrition and restore their growth toward a normal trajectory. Jeffrey Gordon is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He is the recipient of the Robert Koch Award from the Koch Foundation, the Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology from the National Academy of Sciences, the Passano Laureate Award from the Passano Foundation, and the Dickson Prize in Medicine. In 2015 he was awarded the Keio Medical Science Prize, in 2017 the Horwitz Prize and the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur International Award, in 2018 the British Royal Society's Copley Medal, and in 2021 the Kober Medal and the Balzan Prize. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2014.
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