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Assistant Scientist
A head shot of a youngish white woman with shoulder length dark hair.

Departmental Affiliations


Research Interests

I am interested in the relationship between the human gut microbiome (the bacteria that lives in, on, and around us) and how that relationship shapes health and disease using computational methods. My focus is more broadly on the gut microbiome as an enviroment than on a specific disease or class of diseases, and I have worked on conditions ranging from necrotizing enterocolitis in infants to a virally associated cancer in adults to Parkinson's disease. However, my current research focuses on the development of the microbiome in young children, and how this will seed them for long term health. Additionally, I am interested in how open source tools can be used to democratize microbiome research, and to this end, I am a regular contributor to the QIIME 2 software project.

Experiences & Accomplishments
University of Colorado
South Dakota State University
Saint Mary’s College
Select Publications
  • Debelius, JW; Engstrand L; Matussek, A.; Brusselears, N.; Morton, J.T.; Stenmarker, M.; Olsen, R.S. (2023) “The local tumor microbiome is associated with survival in late-stage colorectal cancer patients.” Microbiology Spectrum. 11: e05066 doi: 10.1128/spectrum.05066-22

  • Debelius, J*; Huang, T*; Cai, Y*; Ploner, A; Barrett, D; Zhou, X, Xiao, X; Li, Yancheng, Liao, J; Zheng, Y; Huang, G; Adami, H-O; Zeng, Yi; Zhang, Z; Ye, W. (2020) Subspecies Niche Specialization in the Oral Microbiome is associated with Nasopharygneal Carcinoma Risk. mSystems 5: e00065; doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00065-20

  • McDonald, D.; Hyde, E.R.; Debelius, J.W.; Morton, J.T.; Gonzalez, A.; Akkermann, G.; Aksenov, A.A.; Behsaz, B.; Brennan, C.; Chen, Y.; DeRight-Goldasich, L.; Dorrestein, P.C.; Dunn, R.R.; Fahimipour, A.F.; Garrney, J.; Gilbert, J.A.; Gogul, G.; Green, J.L.; Hugenholtz, P.; Humphrey, G.; Huttenhower, C.; Jackson, M.A.; Janssen, S. Jeste, D.V.: Jiang, L.; Kelly, S.T.; Knights, D.; Kosciolek, T.; Ladau, J.; Leach, J.; Marotz, C.; Meleshkov, D.; Melnik, A.V.; Metcalf, J.L.; Mohimani, H.; Montassier, E.; Navas-Molina, J.; Nguyen, T.; Peddada, S.; Pevzner, P.; Pollard, K.S.; Rahnavard, G.; Robbins-Pianka, A.; Sangwan, N.; Shorenstein, J.; Smarr, L.; Song, SJ,; Spector, T.; Tripathi, A.; Vazquez-Baeza, Y.; Vrbanac, A.; Wischmeyer, P.; Wolfe, E.; Zhu, Q.; The American Gut Consortium; Knight, R. (2018). American Gut: An Open Platform for Citizen Science in Microbiome Research. mSystems. 3: e00031-18. doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00031-18.