Kurt Pipenbrink portrait

Kurt Piepenbrink

The goal of Dr. Piepenbrink’s research program is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria interact with their surroundings; this includes host cells, abiotic surfaces, extracellular structures and, in particular, other bacteria. Dr. Piepenbrink’s group is approaching the basic question of how bacteria self-assemble into communities by applying the lenses of structural biology and biophysics to microbial surface structures.

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Devin Rose portrait

Devin Rose

The Rose lab applies our expertise in cereal chemistry with an emphasis on carbohydrates and nutrition to determine the importance of whole grains and dietary fibers in the diet. We believe that part of the key to unlocking the benefits of whole grains and dietary fibers lies in understanding how these materials interact with the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract. To this end, we have developed and use several in vitro approaches to evaluate gut-health-promoting properties of dietary constituents. We also conduct in vivo feeding trials in humans and mice to how assess changes in gut bacteria are associated with health outcomes (reduction in inflammation, fasting blood glucose, etc.). Through these efforts we aim to introduce grains and dietary fibers with established health benefits that are mediated through their interactions with the gut microbiome.

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