Flagstaff, Arizona — July 25, 2023 — The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), part of City of Hope, today announced that J. Gregory Caporaso, Ph.D., has joined the Institute as a Professor in its pathogen and microbiome division located in Flagstaff, more commonly known as TGen North.
In his new role, Caporaso will lead bioinformatics software engineering and data science for microbiome and other
data-intensive research projects.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Caporaso on the team,” said David Engelthaler, Ph.D., director of TGen North. “Along with bringing a wealth of experience, knowledge and humanity to his work, his science and leadership will provide needed answers to clinicians and patients as well as help TGen advance the state of microbiome genomics overall.”
Caporaso is a specialist in studying microbiomes, communities of microorganisms found in both the environment and the human body. He also leads the development of QIIME 2 (pronounced CHIME), the world’s most widely recognized platform for analyzing microbiome data. Alongside his work on creating user-friendly and advanced computational tools for microbiome research, his team conducts research evaluating the impact of fecal microbiota transplant on recipients’ gut microbiomes and how that affects clinical outcomes and exploring applications of microbiome science in promoting environmental sustainability by understanding microbial activity in waste composting systems. He also is a top-10 ranked scientist in Arizona based on the number of times his published work has been cited.
“I’m excited to join TGen and collaborate with clinical, translational, and public health researchers across TGen and City of Hope,” said Caporaso. “I look forward to new opportunities to apply QIIME 2 and other informatics tools to advance cancer and other human health microbiome research projects across the organizations.”
Since the formation of TGen, there has been a fruitful relationship between Northern Arizona University (NAU) and TGen. The appointment of Dr. Caporaso whose primary appointment is on the faculty at NAU as a Professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences, Computer Science and Director of the Center for Applied Microbiome Science at NAU’s Pathogen and Microbiome Institute, links both institutions further together.
“The state of our microbiome has increasingly been shown to be critical for the medical management of many disorders including cancer, where the diversity of your gut microbiome has been shown to influence your response to immune treatment,” said Jeffrey M. Trent, Ph.D., TGen president and research director. “With City of Hope’s focus on immune treatments, the timing is perfect for aligning Dr. Caporaso’s efforts and expertise in support of our cancer patients.”
Prior NAU, Dr. Caporaso also served as a visiting scientist in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, MD, and is co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Cymis Benefit Corporation in Flagstaff, AZ.
In addition to his faculty appointments, he holds a patent, and has published more than 100 manuscripts, mentored dozens of students and presented numerous lectures around the world.
Caporaso earned a BS in Computer Science in 2001 and a BA in Biochemistry with Minor in Chemistry in 2004 from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and his Ph.D. in Biophysics and Structural Biology in 2009 from the University of Colorado Denver.
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About TGen, part of City of Hope
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based nonprofit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life-changing results. TGen is part of City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. This precision medicine affiliation enables both institutes to complement each other in research and patient care, with City of Hope providing a significant clinical setting to advance scientific discoveries made by TGen. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases through cutting-edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research toward patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and complex rare diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process.