Raghuveer Parthasarathy is a biophysicist who explores the physical structure of living things and how the laws and principles of physics govern how life works. Elected as a 2022 fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Parthasarathy’s current research focuses on the organization of the zebrafish gut microbiome to answer fundamental questions about how gut microbes interact with each other and their host to shape an ecosystem that influences the overall health of the organism. Parthasarathy’s lab uses microscopy and 3D imaging to understand how perturbations to the microbiome from sources such as the introduction of new microbial species or antibiotics affect the system’s structure.

“Each of us is home to a vast community of gut microbes that influence many aspects of health and disease,” Parthasarathy said. “We’re realizing that the physical properties of these communities – how they move, come together, and fall apart – are importa

“Our findings,” Parthasarathy said, “suggest that because of the physical activity of the intestine, contamination by antibiotics induces much larger changes to the gut microbiome than one would suspect from simply studying bacteria alone. In a sense, the

“Knowing the strategies by which the bacterium is able to invade the intestine can open doors to therapies that might disrupt these paths,” Parthasarathy said.

“Each of our bodies is a home for trillions of microbes, whose roles in health and disease are just beginning to be understood,” said Parthasarathy, the Alec and Kay Keith Professor in Physics. He uses cutting-edge microscopy techniques to explore the eco


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