Knights Lab

MCB 6-124

420 Washington Ave SE

Minneapolis, MN 55455

(612) 5-MICROB (612-564-2762)



Dr. Dan Knights is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Biotechnology Institute at the University of Minnesota. The Knights lab models host-microbiome interactions in human disease, with labs in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Knights is a PI with the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.

© 2013-2014 Knights Lab, University of Minnesota

The Microbiome


The microbiome is a term used to describe all of the microbes, like bacteria, parasites, and viruses, that live in and on the human body. Our study focuses on the gut microbiome, which is the community of microbes that live in the gastrointestinal tract.



Immigrant Microbiome Project

healthy guts, healthy world

Exploring how westernization affects the gut microbiome and health

The Microbiome


The microbiome is defined as the community of all microbes (bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi) that live in and on the human body. Our study focuses on the gut microbiome, which are the microbes resident in the human gastrointestinal tract. 


The gut microbiome is essential for: 

  • immune system development

  • metabolism (e.g. break down of dietary fibers)

  • protection against pathogens

  • and many other functions


Your microbiome develops from the day you are born and reaches maturity around age

3 to 4.

Host genetics and external factors (diet, antibiotics, the environment, etc.) drives changes in your gut microbiome.

As a result, people from very different parts of the world have very different gut microbiomes.

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