Gautam Dantas, PhD

Professor, Pathology & Immunology
Division Co-Chief, Laboratory and Genomic Medicine

Additional Titles

  • Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor, Department of Molecular Microbiology
  • Professor, Department of Pediatrics
  • Co-Director, DBBS Computational and Systems Biology PhD Program


  • BA, with honors: Biology and Chemistry, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN (2000)
  • PhD: Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (2005)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (2009)


  • Violet O. Beltmann Undergraduate Research Scholarship, 1998‐2000
  • Newcomb Cleveland Prize (AAAS) for Outstanding Publication in Science, 2004
  • Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, 2008
  • Kenneth Rainin Foundation Innovator and Breakthrough Awards, 2012-2014
  • NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, 2012-2017
  • Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Foundation Scholar Award, 2014-2018
  • Academy of Science-St Louis Innovator Award, 2015
  • Young Scientist Program Most Active Principal Investigator, 2016
  • Washington University Distinguished Educator Award, 2018

Research Interests

My research interests and training lie at the interface of microbial genomics, biochemistry, systems biology, and computational biology. I received my PhD in biochemistry from the University of Washington under the mentorship of David Baker, and post-doctoral training in microbial genomics from Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of George Church. Research in my lab is currently focused (1) on understanding the evolution and exchange of antibiotic resistance amongst diverse microbial communities, (2) on systems-guided design of novel antibiotic and probiotic therapies, and (3) on engineering microbial catalysts to produce value chemicals such as biofuels. My publication record includes 8 papers in Science, Nature, and Cell and 3 patents in biotechnology. I lead an interdisciplinary research and training group of basic scientists, engineers, and clinicians, spanning formal expertise in microbiology, biochemistry, genomics, pathology, infectious diseases, pediatrics, ecology and evolution, systems biology, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, and computational biology. In addition to my research efforts, I am deeply committed to graduate education and training. I am the co-Director of the Computational & Systems Biology (CSB) graduate program, have served on the steering committee for both the CSB and Molecular Microbiology & Microbial Pathogenesis graduate programs, regularly teach in three graduate-level courses, and serve or have served on over 70 qualifying exam and thesis committees.

Over the past nine years, I have mentored ten postdoctoral fellows, twenty graduate students, four research technicians, and over 50 high-school and undergraduate interns. I have graduated nine PhD students, two of whom are now faculty at University of Kansas Medical Center and at Cayetano Heredia University in Peru, three of whom are in post-doctoral training positions in Seattle and St. Louis, and four of whom are working at biotech companies in Boston and in St. Louis. Three of my postdoctoral mentees are faculty members at North Carolina State Univ. (Raleigh), Northwestern University (Evanston), and Washington Univ. School of Medicine (St. Louis). I am the principal investigator on projects supported by federal and private agencies, and am committed to providing a nurturing, well-supported, and actively mentored environment for my team. More details about our research can be found at:

DBBS Affiliation: MMMP, MGG, CSB, EEPB


Crofts TS, Wang B, Spivak A, Gianoulis TA, Forsberg KJ, Gibson MK, Johnsky LA, Broomall SM, Rosenzweig CN, Skowronski EW, Gibbons HS, Sommer MOA, Dantas G. Shared strategies for β-lactam catabolism in the soil microbiome. Nature Chemical Biology. 2018 Jun;14(6):556-564. doi: 10.1038/s41589-018-0052-1. PMID: 29713061; PMCID: PMC5964007.
Henson WR, Campbell T, DeLorenzo D, Gao Y, Berla B, Kim SJ, Foston M, Moon TS, Dantas G. Multi-omic elucidation of aromatic catabolism in adaptively evolved Rhodococcus opacus. Metabolic Engineering. 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.ymben.2018.06.009.
Ferreiro A, Crook N, Gasparrini AJ, Dantas G. Multiscale Evolutionary Dynamics of Host-Associated Microbiomes. Cell. 2018 Mar 8;172(6):1216-1227. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.02.015. PMID: 29522743; PMCID: PMC5846202.
Crofts TS, Gasparrini AJ, Dantas G. Next-generation approaches to understand and combat the antibiotic resistome. Nature Reviews Microbiology. 2017 Apr 10. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro.2017.28. PMID: 28392565.
Park J, Gasparrini AJ, Reck MR, Symister CT, Elliott JL, Vogel JP, Wencewicz TA, Dantas G, Tolia NH. Plasticity, dynamics, and inhibition of emerging tetracycline resistance enzymes. Nature Chemical Biology. 2017 May 8. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2376. PMID: 28481346.
Pehrsson EC, Tsukayama P, Patel S, Mejía-Bautista M, Sosa-Soto G, Navarrete KM, Calderon M, Cabrera L, Hoyos-Arango W, Bertoli MT, Berg DE, Gilman RH, Dantas G. Interconnected microbiomes and resistomes in low-income human habitats. Nature. 2016. doi: 10.1038/nature17672.
Gibson MK, Wang B, Ahmadi S, Burnham CAD, Tarr PI, Warner BB, Dantas G. Developmental dynamics of the preterm infant gut microbiota and antibiotic resistome. Nature Microbiology. 2016. doi: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.24.
Gonzales PR, Pesesky MW, Bouley R, Ballard A, Biddy BA, Suckow MA, Wolter WR, Schroeder VA, Burnham CD, Mobashery S, Chang M, Dantas G. Synergistic, collaterally sensitive β-lactam combinations suppress resistance in MRSA. Nature Chemical Biology. 2015 Sep 14. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1911. PMID: 26368589.
Forsberg KJ, Patel S, Gibson MK, Lauber CL, Knight R, Fierer N, Dantas G. Bacterial phylogeny structures soil resistomes across habitats. Nature 2014; 509: 612. doi: 10.1038/nature13377. PMID: 24847883. PMCID: PMC4079543.
Forsberg KJ, Reyes A, Wang B, Selleck EM, Sommer MO, Dantas G. The shared antibiotic resistome of soil bacteria and human pathogens. Science. 2012 Aug 31;337(6098):1107-11. doi: 10.1126/science.1220761. PMID: 22936781. PMCID: PMC4070369.

Jessica Graham