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Jordan Bisanz

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Image of Jordan Bisanz

About Me

Jordan received his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Western Ontario where he was drawn to human microbiome research as an undergraduate. Working at the Canadian Centre for Human Microbiome and Probiotic Research, he studied how lactobacilli and gut microbes interact with environmental pollutants which included research conducted in Mwanza Tanzania, and the Pasteur Institute in France. For his postdoctoral training, he moved to the University of California San Francisco focusing on merging computational and experimental methods to dissect the interactions between microbes, diet, drugs, and the host.

Lab Phone Number: 814-863-8363

Research Interest

The structure and function of the microbiome and its impacts on health and disease.


Research Summary

My research aims to understand how the structure and function of the microbiome impacts health and disease. In particular I am interested in the intersection of bioinformatics, gnotobiotics (germ-free laboratory animals), and microbiology to dissect complex bacterial communities. Questions I am currently pursuing include how diet impacts pathogen resistance, synthetic microbiota transplants, and the role of gut microbes as a drug-metabolizing organ. I am not currently teaching but look forward to instructing in areas related to microbiology, microbial ecology, and bioinformatics/data science.


Honors or Awards

  • NIAID K99 Postdoctoral Award
  • NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship


Selected Publications

  • Bisanz JE, P Soto Perez, C Noecker, AA Aksenov, KN Lam, EN Bess, HJ Haiser, TS Kyaw, FB Yu, VM Rekdal, CWY Ha, S Devkota, EP Balskus, PC Dorrestein, E Allen-Vercoe, and PJ Turnbaugh. 2020. A genomic toolkit for the mechanistic dissection of intractable human gut bacteria. Cell Host & Microbe. 27(6):1001-1013.
  • Bess EN, JE Bisanz, F Yarza, A Bustion, B Rich, X Li, S Kitamura, E Waligurski, QY Ang, D Alba, P Spanogiannopoulos, S Nayfach, S Koliwad, D Wolan, A Franke, and PJ Turnbaugh. 2020. Genetic basis for the cooperative bioactivation of plant lignans by Eggerthella lenta and other human gut bacteria. Nature Microbiology. 5(1):56-66.
  • Bisanz JE, V Upadhyay, JA Turnbaugh, and PJ Turnbaugh. 2019. Meta-analysis reveals reproducible gut microbiome alterations in response to a high-fat diet. Cell Host & Microbe. 26(2):265-272.
  • Soto Perez P*, JE Bisanz*, JD Berry, KN Lam, J Bondy-Denomy, and PJ Turnbaugh. 2019. CRISPR-Cas system of a prevalent human gut bacterium reveals hyper-targeting against phages in a human virome catalog. Cell Host & Microbe. 26(3):325-335. *Equal contributions.
  • Rekdal VM, EN Bess, JE Bisanz, PJ Turnbaugh, and EP Balskus. 2019. Discovery and inhibition of an interspecies gut bacterial pathway for Levodopa metabolism. Science. 364(6645)eaau6323.
  • Bisanz JE, MK Enos, G PrayGod, S Seney, JM Macklaim, S Chilton, D Willner, R Knight, C Fusch, G Fusch, GB Gloor, JP Burton, and G Reid. 2015. The microbiota at multiple body sites during pregnancy in a rural Tanzanian population and the effects of Moringa supplemented probiotic yogurt. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 81(15):4965-4975.
  • Bisanz JE, MK Enos, J Mwanga, J Changalucha, JP Burton, GB Gloor, and G Reid. 2014. Randomized open-label pilot study of the influence of probiotics and the gut microbiome on toxic metal levels in Tanzanian pregnant women and school children. mBio. 5(5):e01580-14.