Mohamed S. Donia
Faculty AssistantAnna Schmedel
- B.Sc., Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Suez Canal University, Egypt
- Ph.D., Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Utah
Research AreaMicrobiology & Virology
Research FocusSmall-molecule-mediated interactions in complex microbial communities
In addition, the Donia lab has a special interest in the uncultivable microbial components of complex communities, which have eluded research attempts for decades despite their abundance and clear importance. Recent advances in the fields of metagenomics and single-cell genomics have allowed access to the genetic information of some of these unculturable microbes, while functional studies remain challenging. Our goal is to develop the necessary computational and experimental tools to functionally study the interactions mediated by uncultivable members of complex microbiomes, using an integrated multi “omics” approach, including metagenomics, metabolomics and metatranscriptomics. The Donia lab functions at the intersection between multiple disciplines: microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, small molecule chemistry and biosynthesis, metagenomics and bioinformatics, aiming to answer basic biological questions and to develop new therapeutics.
Discovery of Reactive Microbiota-Derived Metabolites that Inhibit Host Proteases. Cell. 2017 ;168(3):517-526.e18. .
Minimum Information about a Biosynthetic Gene cluster. Nat Chem Biol. 2015 ;11(9):625-31. .
HUMAN MICROBIOTA. Small molecules from the human microbiota. Science. 2015 ;349(6246):1254766. .
A Toolbox for Microbiome Engineering. Cell Syst. 2015 ;1(1):21-3. .
A systematic analysis of biosynthetic gene clusters in the human microbiome reveals a common family of antibiotics. Cell. 2014 ;158(6):1402-14. .
Discovery and characterization of gut microbiota decarboxylases that can produce the neurotransmitter tryptamine. Cell Host Microbe. 2014 ;16(4):495-503. .
Host control of symbiont natural product chemistry in cryptic populations of the tunicate Lissoclinum patella. PLoS One. 2014 ;9(5):e95850. .
Dr. Donia received his B.Sc in Pharmacy from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Suez Canal University, Egypt in 2004. He moved to the US in 2005 to study for his Ph.D. at the Medicinal Chemistry Department, School of Pharmacy, University of Utah. He worked in Dr. Eric Schmidt's laboratory where he studied the chemistry and biology of small molecules produced by bacterial symbionts of marine animals. He used chemical, microbiological, and metagenomic techniques to study the role of small molecules in mediating microbe-host and microbe-microbe interactions in marine invertebrates. In 2010, he joined Dr. Michael Fischbach's laboratory at the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. There, he studied small molecules produced by members of the human microbiome and their role in mediating microbe-host and microbe-microbe interactions in humans. In particular, he focused on antibiotics produced by human pathogens and commensals, and their role in shaping the composition and dynamics of the human vaginal and oral microbiota.
- Breakthrough Award, Kenneth Rainin Foundation
- Innovation Award, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University
- New Innovator Award, National Institutes of Health