Ashleigh Theberge and Erwin Berthier receive Kavli Microbiome award

Assistant Professor Ashleigh Theberge and Affiliate Assistant Professor Erwin Berthier were selected to receive a Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge grant, which supports novel, cross-cutting tools and methods in the field of microbiome research. “The Kavli Microbiome Ideas Challenge is an exciting opportunity to support high risk, interdisciplinary research that does not normally receive traditional funding,” said Tim Donohue, Chair of the Scientific Advisory board for the Kavli Challenge. “The grants selected for funding demonstrated great potential for the generation of novel tools and methods that will be broadly applicable across the many environments and move the field forward in the causal understanding of microbial and community function. The Kavli Foundation is to be commended for investing in this rapidly emerging field with this program.”

The Theberge group, along with collaborator Nancy Keller at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will use their Kavli grant to develop a tool for deciphering multi-kingdom communication molecules using engineer cellular traps. The team will create new analytical chemistry and engineering tools that pull out key molecules from a mix of molecular noise in order to selectively “listen” to molecular signals produced by specific fungi, bacteria, or human cells.

To learn more about Professor Theberge and her research, please visit her faculty page and research group website.

Ashleigh Theberge to join faculty

Ashleigh Theberge PhotoWe are delighted to announce that Dr. Ashleigh Theberge will be joining the Department as Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Theberge completed her undergraduate studies in chemistry at Williams College, performing research with Professors Thomas Smith, Dieter Bingemann, Lois Banta, and Heather Stoll. She received her Ph.D. in chemistry with Professor Wilhelm Huck at the University of Cambridge in the field of droplet-based microfluidics. While pursuing her Ph.D., she was a visiting researcher at the Université de Strasbourg with Professor Andrew Griffiths, where she developed microfluidic methods for drug synthesis and screening. She completed her NIH postdoctoral fellowship with Professors David Beebe, William Ricke, and Wade Bushman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer using microscale culture and analysis platforms. She is presently an NIH K Award Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Theberge will launch her research program at the University of Washington in January 2016. Her research centers on the development and use of microfluidic technologies to understand the chemical signaling processes underlying disease, with a particular interest in steroid hormones in prostate disease and testis development and oxylipins involved in the immune response. She will develop new methods for microscale cell culture, small molecule isolation, and metabolomics.

For more information about Dr. Theberge and her research, please visit her faculty page or contact her directly via email.