The Team

Jacques Ravel is a Professor and the Associate Director for Genomics at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. His research focuses on the role of the vaginal microbiota in women’s health and women’s risk for sexually transmitted infections. More specifically, he is focused on studying and developing solutions for conditions such as bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections, preterm birth, and menopause associated vaginal symptoms. Jacques is well-known for his work on the changes in the vaginal microbiota over time. He is the Editor in Chief of the journal Microbiome, an open-access publications dedicated to studies of the human microbiome.


Cindy M. Liu is an Associate Professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. Her work focuses on penile microbiota as a risk factor for sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV. She is particularly interested in how interactions between host-microbe and among microbes-microbes could determine microbiota composition and individuals' susceptibilities to infection. She thinks the genital microbiome is the perfect model system to build a new paradigm of transmissible dysbiosis and to better understand how ecological imbalances could impact health. Also, it is great because it's really easy to joke around with collaborators about this work (really, it's way easier and way worse than you think). With this research, Cindy hopes to find new ways to prevent infections and promote wellness. 



Jonathan A. Eisen is a Professor at the University of California Davis whose research and educational activities focus on the diversity of microbes and how they interact with each other and with plant and animal host species.  In addition, he is an active and award winning science communicator, writer and blogger. Check Jonathan out at,, or follow him at @phylogenomics