Photo of Jonathan Jacobs, MD, PhD
Jonathan Jacobs, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor-in-Residence, Division of Digestive Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Jonathan Jacobs is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence in the Division of Digestive Diseases within the UCLA Department of Medicine. His research background is in immunology and the intestinal microbiome. He originally trained under Diane Mathis and Christophe Benoist at Harvard, where he published three first author papers on the immunopathological mechanisms of arthritis in an autoantibody-mediated model. He later joined Jonathan Braun’s lab at UCLA to investigate the interactions of the mucosal immune system and the intestinal microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He utilized human cohorts and transgenic mice to demonstrate that the IBD-associated genes RORC and TL1A, both involved in mucosal immunity, garden the intestinal microbiome. This raises the possibility that genetic risk factors promote IBD through their effects on the microbiome. An ongoing human cohort study with Dr. Braun aims to define the microbial and metabolomics features of IBD in the colonic mucosa and to characterize their relationship to IBD-associated genetic polymorphisms. In a separate translational study, he found that healthy relatives of pediatric IBD patients could be classified by their intestinal microbial and metabolomics profiles into “enterotypes” and “metabotypes” that may predict their future risk for IBD. He has authored a review article, a commentary, and two textbook chapters on intestinal host-microbiome interactions. His current research employs in vivo models and multi’omics analysis of IBD cohorts to define the role of IBD-associated genes in shaping the intestinal microbiome and to identify microbial products that promote IBD.

Relevant Recent Publications

  1. Jacobs JP, Lin L, Goudarzi M, Ruegger P, McGovern DPB, Fornace AJ, Borneman J, Xia L, Braun J. Microbial, metabolomic, and immunologic dynamics in a relapsing genetic mouse model of colitis induced by T-synthase deficiency. Gut Microbes. 2017 Jan; 8(1):1-16.
  2. Jacobs JP, Goudarzi M, Singh N, Tong M, McHardy IH, Ruegger P, Asadourian M, Moon B, Ayson A, Borneman J, McGovern DPB, Fornace AJ, Braun J, Dubinsky M. A Disease-associated Enterotype and Metabotype in Healthy Relatives of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients. Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2016 Nov; 2(6):750-66.
  3. Jacobs JP, Braun J. Immune and genetic gardening of the intestinal microbiome. FEBS Letters. 2014 Nov; 588(22):4102-11.

Complete Publications List


Photo of Swapna Joshi, PhD
Swapna Joshi, PhD
Assistant Project Scientist, Center for Systems Biomedicine; Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress; David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Swapna (Mahurkar) Joshi received her undergraduate and Master’s degree in Genetics at Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. She received her Ph.D. from Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India. Her research interests as postdoctoral scholar at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, as well as University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have been geared towards understanding mechanisms of various diseases including obesity, cancer and functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders using various molecular biology and bioinformatics tools. As an assistant project scientist at UCLA, her research includes using various bioinformatics approached for integrating different data types such as, gene expression, genetic, epigenetic and microbial data to gain meaningful insights into the etiopathology of functional GI diseases including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Dr. Joshi has published over 23 papers in peer reviewed high impact journals.

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