Department of Microbiology and the College
Laurie Comstock studies abundant bacteria of the human intestinal microbiota to understand the factors that allow these bacteria to become established and stably colonize the human gut. Her lab uses a combination of basic microbiological techniques, genetics, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and animal models in deciphering the complex interactions within these diverse microbial communities to better understand their contributions to human health. Her laboratory also seeks to understand how to restore a healthy microbiota to individuals with altered microbial communities due to disease, therapeutic drugs, or antibiotics.
Her research has been published in Nature, Science, Cell, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among other distinguished journals. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, is an editor of the Journal of Bacteriology, and serves on other editorial boards.
Comstock received her BS in biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her PhD in microbiology and immunology from Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education/Wake Forest School of Medicine. She completed postdoctoral work at the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Heath at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and most recently was a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, with an appointment in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her appointment at the University of Chicago includes membership in the Duchossois Family Institute.