Dr. Lynch received his BA in biology and psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied HIV drug resistance in the lab of Dr. Bob Doms. He then moved to Stanford University, where he began his love of host-microbe interactions while pursuing his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in the lab of Dr. Justin Sonnenburg. His thesis work identified the molecular regulation of nutrient consumption hierarchies by a gut bacterium, describing how these bacteria "chose" which sugars to metabolize in the intestine. He then moved to the lab of Dr. Ned Ruby at the University of Hawaii-Manoa for a postdoctoral fellowship, where he used the model squid-Vibrio symbiosis to characterize fundamental aspects of animal-bacteria symbiosis. His research there included bacterial physiological responses to symbiosis, symbiosis-dependent bacteriophage resistance, and biophysical determinants of symbiotic motility. He concluded his postdoctoral training in the lab of Dr. Elaine Hsiao at UCLA, where he returned to the gut microbiota to apply his host-microbe expertise to exploring understudied bacteria from the genus Turicibacter. He identified genes these bacteria use to influence host lipids, cholesterol, and serotonin production, potentially positioning these bacteria at the center of several important host processes.
Dr. Lynch's current research focuses on the determinants of host-microbe symbiosis, from fundamental molecular processes that bind animals and bacteria to the applied uses of the microbiota to treat lipid and neurological disorders. His research group emphasizes creative approaches to difficult problems and training scientists from all backgrounds to be leaders in their future fields.