Dr. Jan Claesen is an Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and an Assistant Staff faculty member at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. Dr. Claesen received his Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology from the John Innes Centre and University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom. Near the end of his Ph.D., Jan was a finalist in the UK Microbiology Society’s ‘Young Microbiologist of the Year’ and he won the 2009 ‘John Innes Foundation Prize for Excellence in Science Communication.’ After his graduate studies, Jan was a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Dr. Michael Fischbach at the University of California, San Francisco. There, his research focused on the identification of novel biosynthetic pathways and characterization of bacterial metabolites that mediate microbiota interactions in the healthy human microbiome.
The Claesen lab uses a combination of genetic and biochemical techniques to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that drive community dynamics and microbe-host interactions in the human gut and skin microbiome. Additionally, the Claesen lab engineers commensal bacteria for fundamental and translational applications. Ongoing research projects in the lab include gut microbial conversions of dietary molecules, functional characterization of aryl polyenes in bacterial pathogenesis, and bacterial molecular signaling in the gut and skin microbiome.