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John Kirby, PhD

Contact Information

Office: 3-632 BSB 
Phone: 319-335-7818 
Faculty Profile

Brief description of current research:

Our major areas of investigation focus on signal transduction during regulation of biofilm formation in bacteria.  Over the last several years, our work has expanded from model organisms including Bacillus subtilis and Myxococcus xanthus to clinically relevant pathogens including Haemophilus influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus.  More recently, my lab has sought to characterize aspects of the human microbiome to identify health and/or disease promoting biofilms.  We have begun to characterize the sinus and gut. We have developed technology to process DNA from those body sights and have obtained 454 and Illumina data and analyzed the results using the QIIME (Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology) open source software package. Our data are consistent with other findings and indicate that the human microbiome is diverse in healthy human subjects and that specific pathogens dominate the body sites during chronic infections.  Our current projects seek to characterize chronic sinusitis and the affect of antipsychotics on gut microbiota in humans.

3 most influential diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:


“I am convinced of the role microbes play as beneficial contributors to our health.  I am determined to identify a positive role for microbes in