Gautam Dantas, Ph.D.

Pathology and Immunology
Laboratory and Genomic Medicine
Molecular Microbiology
Biomedical Engineering

Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program
Computational and Systems Biology Program
Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program
Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology Program

  • 314-362-7238

  • 314-286-0867

  • 314-362-2156

  • Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology, 4515 McKinley Ave, 5th Floor, Rm 5314

  • dantas@WUSTL.EDU



  • anibiotic resistance, synthetic biology, bioenergy, human microbiome, metagenomics, microbial ecology and biodiversity

  • (1) Dynamics, ecology, and evolution of antibiotic resistance, (2) Engineering enhanced probiotics to treat GI disorders, (3) Engineering microbial biofuel catalysts

Research Abstract:

Our research group develops novel technologies to understand, harness, and engineer the biochemical processing potential of microbial communities. We work at the interface of microbial genomics, quantitative ecology, synthetic biology, systems biology, and computational biology to study problems with biotechnological and biomedical relevance. Our current projects are focused on three major themes: (1) understanding and predicting how diverse microbiomes respond to chemical and biological perturbations, (2) harnessing these insights to rationally design therapeutic strategies to curtail antibiotic resistant pathogens and remedy pathological microbiome states, and (3) engineering microbial catalysts to convert renewable biomass into value chemicals such as biofuels and pharmaceuticals. More details at

Selected Publications:

(* = equal contribution; ** = corresponding author)

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.

Sommer MO**, Dantas G**, Church GM. Functional characterization of the antibiotic resistance reservoir in the human microflora. Science. 2009 Aug 28;325(5944):1128-31. doi: 10.1126/science.1176950. PMID: 19713526.

Dantas G*, Sommer MO*, Oluwasegun RD, Church GM**. Bacteria subsisting on antibiotics. Science. 2008 Apr 4;320(5872):100-3. doi: 10.1126/science.1155157. PMID: 18388292.

Kuhlman B*, Dantas G*, Ireton GC, Varani G, Stoddard BL, Baker D**. Design of a novel globular protein fold with atomic-level accuracy. Science. 2003 Nov 21;302(5649):1364-8. PMID: 14631033.

Last Updated: 8/1/2018 9:29:17 AM

High-Throughput Functional Metagenomic Selections: Schematic representation of a culture-independent pipeline for identifying and quantifying selectable functions (e.g. antibiotic resistance) from any microbial genome or metagenome. Through a combination of recent experimental and computational innovations, the Dantas lab has decreased the cost of these methods by over 100-fold, enabling dramatic improvements in throughput for characterizing and modeling microbial community functions, dynamics, and ecology.
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