Bio-bibliography + Videoclip


Jeffrey I. Gordon

2021 Balzan Prize for Microbiome in Health and Disease

For founding the field of human microbiome research and revolutionizing our understanding of its roles in health and disease, including in our nutritional status.

Biographical and Bibliographical Data

Jeffrey I. Gordon, born in 1947, is the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. He is internationally known for his research on gastrointestinal development and how gut microbial communities affect normal intestinal function, shape various aspects of human physiology including our nutritional status and affect predisposition to diseases. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Jeffrey Gordon received his bachelor’s degree in biology in 1969 at Oberlin College in Ohio. Over the next four years, he received his medical training at the University of Chicago where he graduated with honors in 1973. After two years as an intern and junior assistant resident in Medicine at Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, Jeffrey Gordon joined the Laboratory of Biochemistry at the National Cancer Institute as a Research Associate in 1975. He returned to Barnes Hospital in 1978 to become Senior Assistant Resident, completed a fellowship in Gastroenterology and then joined the faculty where he rose quickly through the academic ranks: Assistant Professor (1981-1984); Associate Professor (1985-1987); Professor (1987-1991) of Medicine and Biological Chemistry. In 1991, he became head of the Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology (1991-2004). Jeffrey Gordon is currently the founding Director of the University’s Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology (2004-present).

Key Papers

Bry, L., Falk, P.G., Midtvedt, T., and Gordon, J.I. A model of host-microbial interactions in an open mammalian ecosystem. Science 273, 1380-1383 (1996).

Hooper, L.V., Xu, J., Falk, P.G., Midtvedt, T., and Gordon, J.I. A molecular sensor that allows a gut commensal to control its nutrient foundation in a competitive ecosystem. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 96, 9833-9838 (1999).

Hooper, L.V., Wong, M.H., Thelin, A., Hansson, L., Falk, P.G, and Gordon, J.I. Molecular analysis of commensal host-microbial relationships in the intestine. Science 291, 881-884 (2001).

Bäckhed, F., Ding, H., Wang, T., Hooper, L.V., Koh, G.Y., Nagy, A., Semenkovich, C.F., and Gordon, J.I. The gut microbiota as an environmental factor that regulates fat storage. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101, 15718-15723 (2004).

Sonnenburg, J.L., Xu, J., Leip, D.D., Chen, C.H., Westover, B.P., Weatherford, J., Buhler, J.D., and Gordon, J.I. Glycan foraging in vivo by an intestine-adapted bacterial symbiont. Science 307, 1955-1959 (2005).

Turnbaugh, P.J., Ley, R.E., Mahowald, M.A., Magrini, V., Mardis, E.R., and Gordon, J.I. An obesity-associated gut microbiome with increased capacity for energy harvest. Nature 444, 1027-1031 (2006).

Ley, R.E., Turnbaugh, P.J., Klein, S., and Gordon, J.I. Microbial ecology: human gut microbes associated with obesity. Nature 444, 1022-1023 (2006).

Turnbaugh, P.J., Hamady, M., Yatsunenko, T., Cantarel, B.L., Duncan, A., Ley, R.E., Sogin, M.L., Jones, W.J., Roe, B.A., Affourtit, J.P., Egholm, M., Henrissat, B., Heath, A.C., Knight, R., and Gordon, J.I. A core gut microbiome in obese and lean twins. Nature 457, 480-484 (2009).

Yatsunenko, T., Rey, F.E., Manary, M.J., Trehan, I., Dominguez-Bello, M.G., Contreras, M., Magris, M., Hidalgo, G., Baldassano, R.N., Anokhin, A.P., Heath, A.C., Warner, B., Reeder, J., Kuczynski, J., Caporaso, J.G., Lozupone, C.A., Lauber, C., Clemente, J.C., Knights, D., Knight, R., and Gordon, J.I. Human gut microbiome viewed across age and geography. Nature 486, 222-227 (2012).

Ridaura, V.K., Faith, J.J., Rey, F.E., Cheng, J., Duncan, A.E., Kau, A.L., Lombard, V., Henrissat, B., Bain, J.R., Muehlbauer, M.J., Ilkayeva, O., Semenkovich, C.F., Funai, K., Lyle, B.J., Martini, M.C., Ursell, L.K., Clemente, J.C., Van Treuren, W., Walters, W.A., Knight, R., Newgard, C.B., Heath, A.C., and Gordon, J.I. Gut microbiota from twins discordant for obesity modulate metabolism in mice. Science 341, 1241214 (2013).

Smith, M.I., Yatsunenko, T., Manary, M.J., Trehan, I., Mkakosya, R., Cheng, J., Kau, A., Rich, S.S., Concannon, P., Mychaleckyj, J.C., Liu, J., Houpt, E., Li, J.V., Holmes, E., Nicholson, J., Knights, D., Ursell, L.K., Knight, R., and Gordon, J.I. Gut microbiomes of Malawian twin pairs discordant for kwashiorkor. Science 339, 548-554 (2013).

Subramanian, S., Huq, S., Yatsunenko, T., Haque, R., Mahfuz, M., Alam, M.A., Benezra, A., DeStefano, J., Meier, M.F., Muegge, B.D., Barratt, M.J., Zhang, Q., Province, M.A., Petri, W.A., Ahmed, T., and Gordon, J.I. Persistent gut microbiota immaturity in malnourished Bangladeshi children. Nature 510, 417-421 (2014).

Blanton, L.V., Charbonneau, M.R., Salih, T., Barratt, M.J., Venkatesh, S., Ilkaveya, O., Subramanian, S., Manary, M.J., Trehan, I., Jorgensen, J.M., Fan, Y., Henrissat, B., Leyn, S.A., Rodionov, D.A., Osterman, A.L., Maleta, K.M., Newgard, C.B., Ashorn, P., Dewey, K.G., and Gordon, J.I. Gut bacteria that prevent growth impairments transmitted by microbiota from malnourished children. Science 351, aad3311 (2016).

Gehrig, J.L., Venkatesh, S., Chang, H-W., Hibberd, M.C., Kung, V.L., Cheng, J., Chen, R.Y., Subramanian, S., Cowardin, C.A., Meier, M., O’Donnell, D., Talcott, M., Spears, L.D., Semenkovich, C.F., Henrissat, B., Giannone, R.J., Hettich, R.L., Ilkayeva, O., Muehlbauer, M., Newgard, C.B., Sawyer, C., Head, R., Rodionov, D.A., Arzamosov, A.A., Leyn, S.A., Osterman, A.L., Hossain, I., Islam, M., Choudhury, N., Sarker, S., Huq, S., Mahmud, I., Mostafa, I., Mahfuz, M., Barratt, M.J., Ahmed, T., and Gordon, J.I. Effects of microbiota-directed foods in gnotobiotic animals and undernourished children. Science 365, eaau4732 (2019).

Raman, A.S., Gehrig, J.L., Subramanian, S., Venkatesh, M.C., Hibberd, S., Kang, G., Bessong, P.O., Lima, A.A.M., Kosek, M.N., Petri, W.A., Huq, S., Mostafa, I., Islam, M., Mahfuz, M., Haque, R., Ahmed, T., Barratt, M.J., and Gordon, J.I. A sparse covarying unit that describes healthy and impaired human gut microbiota development. Science 365, eaau4735 (2019).

Patnode, M.L., Beller, Z.W., Han, N.D., Cheng, J., Peters, S.L., Terrapon, N., Henrisssat, B., Le Gall, S., Saulnier, L., Hayashi, D.K., Meynier, A., Vinoy, S., Giannone, R.J., Hettich, R.L., and Gordon, J.I. Interspecies competition impacts targeted manipulation of human gut bacteria by fiber-derived glycans. Cell 179, 59-73 (2019).

Chen, R.Y., Kung, V.L., Das, S., Hossain, M.S., Hibberd, M.C., Guruge, J., Mahfuz, M., Begum, S.M.K.N., Rahman, M.M., Fahim, S.M., Gazi, M.A., Haque, R., Sarker, S.A., Mazunder, R.N., Di Luccia, B., Ahsan, K., Kennedy, E., Santiago-Borges, J., Rodionov, D.A., Leyn, S.A., Osterman, A.L., Barratt, M.J., Ahmed, T., and Gordon, J.I. Duodenal microbiota in stunted undernourished children with enteropathy. New Engl. J. Med. 283, 321-333 (2020).

Chen, R.Y., Mostafa, I., Hibberd, M.C., Das, S., Mahfuz, M., Naila, N.N., Islam, M.M., Huq, S., Alam, M.A., Zaman, M.U., Raman, A.S., Webber, D., Zhous, C., Sundaresan, V., Ahsan, K., Meier, M.F., Barratt, M.J., Ahmed, T., and Gordon, J.I. A microbiota-directed food intervention for undernourished children. New Engl. J. Med. 384, 1517-1528 (2021).

Delannoy-Bruno, O., Desai, C., Raman, A.S., Chen, R.Y., Hibberd, M.C., Cheng, J., Han, N., Castillo, J.J., Couture, G., Lebrilla, C.B., Lombard, V., Henrissat, B., Leyn, S.A., Rodionov, D.A., Osterman, A.L., Hayashi, D.K., Meynier, A., Vinoy, S., Kirbach, K., Wilmot, T., Heath, A.C., Klein, S., Barratt, M.J., and Gordon, J.I. Evaluating microbiome-directed fibre snack food prototypes in gnotobiotic mice and humans. Nature 595, 91-95 (2021).

Insert your email address here to sign up for our newsletter with all the latest updates on the International Balzan Prize Foundation .

First name
Last name
By subscribing, I confirm that I have read and understand the General Terms and Conditions of EU Regulation 2016/679, in particular with regard to my rights, and hereby consent to the processing of my personal in the manner and for the purposes indicated therein.
Fondazione Internazionale Premio Balzan