Dr. Sarkis Mazmanian is the Soux Professor of Microbiology and an Investigator at the Heritage Medical Research Institute at Caltech. He obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from UCLA, and has since founded Axial Biotherapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company harnessing the gut-brain axis to develop novel Central Nervous System (CNS) therapeutics.
Dr. Mazmanian’s laboratory demonstrated for the first time that intestinal bacteria direct universal development of the immune system and control complex behaviors in animal models. Thus, his lab now aims to discover how gut bacteria influence the development and function of the immune and nervous systems, with the goal of understanding mechanisms by which the microbiome contributes to the critical balance between health and disease. Dr. Mazmanian has won numerous awards, including a Searle Scholar Award, Young Investigator of the Year Award from Harvard Medical School, Damon Runyon Innovation Award, and the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award. He was also named by Discover Magazine as one of the “Best Brains in Science under 40,” and a “Life Science Superstar” by Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.