skip to main content
Luis B. and Nelly Soux Professor of Microbiology
I was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, where I also received my doctoral training in Microbiology and Immunology. I was a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow at Harvard Medical School, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In 2006, I moved to Caltech to investigate how the gut microbiome impacts development and function of the immune and nervous systems. My laboratory pioneered the concept that researching the microbiome may lead to development of novel therapies for immunologic and neurological diseases. My work has led to the discovery and validation of drug candidates that are being developed as pharmaceuticals for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The major effort of my current research enterprise is focused on gut-brain research in PD, using animal models and human cell culture systems, as well as via close collaborations with PD clinicians.
Lab Manager
Hey there! 👋 I'm Yvette and since 2015, I have been overseeing the day-to-day operations of the research lab led by Sarkis Mazmanian. My commitment lies in creating a secure and productive research environment, where adherence to safety protocols, meticulous resource management, and effective collaboration with regulatory bodies contribute to the overall success of the laboratory. Adept at fostering positive relationships both within the academic community and with external vendors, I am driven to facilitate an environment that promotes cutting-edge research. Cheers to making science thrive! 🚀✨
Senior Writer
I support the lab as a project manager and science writer. My background ranges from developmental biology to genetic circuits of cell division to the structures of bacterial and archaeal cells (cellstructureatlas.org). In the lab, I enjoy learning about the fantastic science everyone’s doing to figure out how the symbiotic microorganisms in our bodies influence health and disease, particularly neurodegenerative disorders of the brain like Parkinson’s. Outside the lab, I hike more, but read just as much.
Gnotobiotic Facility Mgr & Research Technician
I started at Caltech in 2007 as an animal technician. I worked with the gnotobiotic mice and was introduced to the Mazmanian lab. In 2015 I started working directly for the lab. I maintain our Gnotobiotic facility along with our other colonies. I enjoy working closely with the members of the lab and learning about their research.
Senior Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Biology and Biological Engineering
My research focuses on dissecting the interactions between the gut and the brain, particularly in relation to neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration. In the Mazmanian lab, my project investigates the influence of the gut microbiome on mitochondria and metabolism within in Parkinson’s disease. Prior to joining Caltech, I gained experience in gut-brain axis research during my PhD studies in Prof. John Cryan's lab at University College Cork, Ireland. There, I demonstrated that birth by cesarean section impacts the gut microbiome and social behavior in animal models, and alters stress responses in humans. Outside of the lab, I enjoy traveling and learning about other cultures and cuisines.
Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Biology and Biological Engineering
Hi everyone! I obtained my undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at Rhodes College, a small liberal arts institution in Memphis, TN. After that, I completed my PhD at the University of Alabama at Birmingham studying how border-associated macrophages mediate neuroinflammation in an AAV-alpha-synuclein overexpression model of Parkinson’s disease. I am now a postdoc in this lab researching if the composition of the gut microbiome could act as a universal mediator of disease in genetic models of Parkinson’s disease. This project allows me to focus on my interests, which include studying neurodegenerative disease, the immune system and neuroinflammation, and the gut microbiome.
Senior Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Biology and Biological Engineering
Alterations in the gut microbiome are associated with various immune, metabolic, and neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease (PD). Exciting new research reveals that the gut microbiome directly impacts symptoms and pathology in PD mouse models. While age is the strongest risk factor for developing PD in humans, I have discovered that the microbiome also ages in PD mice. I propose a bold research program to test if microbiome replacement improves outcomes in PD, transplanting microbiota from young mice into aged animals, and longitudinally assaying behavioral, immune, and pathological endpoints. My work aims to validate the contribution of the gut microbiome to PD-associated phenotypes in mice, develop a framework for future exploration into mechanisms of action, and de-risk novel therapeutic options for PD.
Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Biology and Biological Engineering
After completing my PhD at Baylor College of Medicine, where I spent years to studying astrocytes in the brain, I was inspired by the remarkable capabilities of the gut microbiome in modulating host behaviors. Motivated by this, I joined Mazmanian's team to study the bi-directional communication between the brain and gut. My research interests lie particularly in the comorbidity of irritable bowel syndrome and depressive disorder. Consequently, my work is centered on understanding how stress impacts the brain-gut-microbiome axis.
Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Biology and Biological Engineering
I received my BS in chemistry from Duke University, and then moved to Yale University for my PhD. During my thesis work I studied how gut bacteria sequester and metabolize ergothioneine, a dietary antioxidant whose depletion is implicated in a range of human diseases. I am now broadly interested in gut microbiome-host interactions and how they relate to human health. In the Mazmanian lab, I am integrating metabolomics, microbiology, animal models, and computational approaches to study microbiome-derived small molecules that participate in gut-brain communication.
Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Biology and Biological Engineering
I received my PhD from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I used chemical biology and biochemistry approach to study the role of iron on the pathogenesis of Parkinson's Disease (PD). During my PhD, I realized how complex PD is, and it fueled my curiosity to learn more about the environment-gene interaction. Now, I'm studying the relationship between host genotype and gut microbiome in mediating pathogenesis of PD, especially the role of gut microbes on host neurotransmitter levels and immune responses. Outside of the lab, I enjoy doing nothing (it's therapeutic), cooking, baking, hiking, and gardening.
Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Biology and Biological Engineering
I am interested in the interaction between diverse microbiomes and host brain and behavior, and how the enteric nervous system affects host physiology. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my dog and cat, going to the beach, and exploring new restaurants in LA.
Graduate Student
My project uses a mouse model to determine how specific commensal gut microbes interact with the immune system in the context of Parkinson's disease.
Graduate Student
Hello everyone! I received my B.S. and M.S. in Molecular biology from the Lomonosov Moscow State University. In general, I am excited about gaining a mechanistic understanding of various biological phenomena. In Mazmanian lab, my main research focus lies in understanding the mechanisms of the gut microbiome's effect on the reward circuitry function of the brain. My current project involves characterizing the effect of certain bacteria on hedonic feeding behavior in a laboratory mouse model. I also recently got interested in applying different statistical modeling techniques for behavioral data analysis. Outside of the lab, I am a book and sudoku enthusiast.
Graduate Student
I received my B.S. in Biological Sciences from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. During my undergraduate, Manxuan explored several research topics in bioengineering, including developing antibodies with improved broadly neutralizing ability against different human viral pathogens, designing fine-tuned bacterial feedback circuits, and engineering virus-based gene delivery vectors to improve production efficiency and target specificity. Fueled by curiosity about the human microbiome, I joined the Mazmanian lab in 2021. I am currently interested in investigating the role of commensal microbiota in the development of prodromal non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Outside the lab, I enjoy exploring the world through travel and using her camera to capture the simple joys of life and the beauty of nature.
Graduate Student
I am broadly interested in how the environment modulates an animal's behavioral resilience. In the Mazmanian lab, I am focused on uncovering gut microbial communities that improve the functioning of antidepressants in mouse models of behavior. My project couple techniques spanning microbial metabolomics and mouse neurophysiology. Outside of work, I enjoy rock climbing, cooking, scoping out LA's best eateries and tending to my houseplants.
Graduate Student
B.S. Molecular and Cellular Biology, Johns Hopkins University. I am interested in functional applications of micro-organisms for biomedicines, bioremediation, and climate change. Under co-supervision by Matt Thomson, I am developing high-throughput computational and experimental approaches to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying host-microbe and microbial community interactions.
Graduate Student
I received my B.A. in psychology and biochemistry from Mount Holyoke College. I am broadly interested in the role of gut-brain axis in neurodevelopmental disorders. My current project uses a mouse model of maternal immune activation to study how microbiome complexity influences autism-like phenotypes in the offspring. Outside of lab, I enjoy reading, cooking, hiking, and traveling.
Research Technician
I am helping to characterize several mouse models for Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Numerous genotypes have been identified in genome-wide association studies that are associated with elevated risk for development of PD. My project involves characterizing each genotype at 5-weeks and 6-months of age when given broad spectrum antibiotics. The characterization includes a battery of motor and gastrointestinal functional tests, molecular analysis of pathological markers, and flow cytometric analysis of immune cell populations.
Research Technician