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Human Microbiome: Our Inner Ecosystem

Yang-Yu Liu
Wednesday, March 23, 2022, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

ABSTRACT / We coexist with a vast number of microbes that live in and on our bodies. Those microbes and their genes are collectively known as the human microbiome, which plays important roles in human physiology and diseases. Many scientific advances have been made through the work of large-scale, consortium-driven metagenomic projects, which help us acquire more accurate organismal compositions and metabolic functions of the human microbiome. Yet, there are still many fundamental questions to be addressed at the systems level. In this talk, I will present our recent theoretical progress on understanding this complex ecosystem from community ecology, dynamical systems, and network science perspectives.

BIO / Yang-Yu Liu is currently an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and an Associate Scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). He received his PhD in Physics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009, with thesis research focusing on phase transitions in disordered magnets. After that, he held positions as Postdoctoral Research Associate and then Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Complex Network Research at Northeastern University, before he joined HMS and BWH in 2013. The primary goal of his postdoctoral research has been to combine tools from control theory, network science and statistical physics to address fundamental questions pertaining to the control of complex networks. His current research efforts focus on the study of human microbiome from the community ecology, dynamic systems, control theory, and machine learning perspectives. For more information, please visit