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June 25, 2020

Featured Microbiome Investigator: Josephine Ni, MD

We're checking in with a rising star in microbiome research: Dr. Josephine Ni from the University of Pennsylvania.
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Josephine Ni, MD, instructor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and 2017 recipient of the AGA-Takeda Pharmaceuticals Research Scholar Award in IBD from the AGA Research Foundation

Josephine Ni

Congrats to Dr. Josephine Ni! While Dr. Ni’s AGA Research Scholar Award concludes at the end of June 2020, we’re proud to share that she has secured two significant grants to continue her work: an NIH KO8 grant as well as a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Award.  We catch up with Dr. Ni in the Q&A below.

How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
I am interested in better understanding bacterial colonization of the healthy and inflamed intestinal tract; specifically, my current research focuses on characterizing the role of biofilm formation on intestinal colonization.

What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
I hope that my work on understanding intestinal colonization will allow us to engineer the microbiota in predictable ways, paving the way to exclude enteropathogens, deliver specific compounds, and prevent dysbiosis.

What inspired you to focus your research career on the gut microbiome?
Being able to use data and observations from patient cohorts to generate research hypotheses and then translate those hypotheses into mouse models to explore mechanisms has been a very gratifying experience that I learned from my mentor, Gary Wu. There is still so much to learn about the effects of the microbiome on intestinal health and I’m excited to be a part of this process.

What recent publication from your lab best represents your work, if anyone wants to learn more?
Josephine Ni, et al. A role for bacterial urease in gut dysbiosis and Crohn’s disease. Sci. Transl. Med., 9, eaah6888 (2017).

Meet the newest class of AGA Research Foundation research funding recipients.

Brought to you by the
AGA Center for Gut Microbiome Research & Education
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