SID Herman Beerman Lecture
This award is given in recognition of Dr. Herman Beerman’s long and devoted service to the SID and his efforts to secure for it a position of respect in the scientific community. The Herman Beerman Lecture is given by a distinguished medical scholar, traditionally from fields other than dermatology in order to give meeting attendees the opportunity to learn about scientific advances in other fields.
Rob Knight is the founding Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation and Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego. Before that, he was Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Computer Science in the BioFrontiers Institute of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an HHMI Early Career Scientist. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Microbiology. In 2015 he received the Vilcek Prize in Creative Promise for the Life Sciences. He is the author of “Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes” (Simon & Schuster, 2015), coauthor of “Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System (St. Martin’s Press, 2017) and spoke at TED in 2014. His lab has produced many of the software tools and laboratory techniques that enabled high-throughput microbiome science, including the QIIME pipeline (cited ~8000 times as of this writing) and UniFrac (cited ~5000 times). He is co-founder of the Earth Microbiome Project, the American Gut Project, and the company Biota, Inc., which uses DNA from microbes in the subsurface to guide oilfield decisions. His work has linked microbes to a range of health conditions including obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. It has enhanced our understanding of microbes in environments ranging from the oceans to the tundra, and made high-throughput sequencing techniques accessible to thousands of researchers around the world.