Welcome to the Blekhman Lab

Human Genomics and Host-Microbiome Interactions

Located at The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, we are part of the Departments of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Our lab

The Blekhman lab's broad focus is on Population, Evolutionary, and Medical Genomics in humans and other primates. A major focus of our research is on the trillions of bacteria that colonize each of us. The lab generates genomic data, and employs computational, statistical, network-theory, data mining, and population genetic approaches, with the goal of understanding how we interact with our microbial communities, how host-bacteria interactions affect complex traits and disease, and how the symbiosis between us and our microbiome evolved.

Visit our research and publications pages to learn more!

 We are looking for highly motivated researchers to join our group! Read More...


Dr. Ran Blekhman

Ran Blekhman is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota. Before joining the UofM in 2013, Ran was a Postdoctoral Associate working with Andrew G. Clark at Cornell University. Ran holds a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from The University of Chicago, where he worked with Yoav Gilad.

  Selected Recent Papers

Host genetic variation impacts microbiome composition across human body sites.
R. Blekhman, J. K. Goodrich, K. Huang, Q. Sun, R. Bukowski, J. T. Bell, T. D. Spector, A. Keinan, R. E. Ley, D. Gevers, and A. G. Clark.
Genome Biology, 2015
Variation in Rural African Gut Microbiota Is Strongly Correlated with Colonization by Entamoeba and Subsistence.
E. R. Morton, J. Lynch, A. Froment, S. Lafosse , E. Heyer , M. Przeworski, R. Blekhman, and L. Segurel.
PLOS Genetics, 2015
Virulence genes are a signature of the microbiome in the colorectal tumor microenvironment.
M. B. Burns, J. Lynch, T. K. Starr, D. Knights, and R. Blekhman.
Genome Medicine, 2015


Social networks predict gut microbiome composition in wild baboons.
J. Tung, L. B. Barreiro, M. B. Burns, J.-C. Grenier, J. Lynch, L. E. Grieneisen, J. Altmann, S. C. Alberts, R. Blekhman, and E. A. Archie.
eLife, 2015


Human genetics shape the gut microbiome.
J. K. Goodrich, J. L. Waters, A. C. Poole, J. L. Sutter, O. Koren, R. Blekhman, M. Beaumont, W. Van Treuren, R. Knight, J. T. Bell, T. Spector, A. G. Clark, and R. E. Ley.
Cell, 2014


Comparative metabolomics in primates reveals the effects of diet and gene regulatory variation on metabolic divergence.
R. Blekhman, G. H. Perry, S. Shahbaz, A. G. Clark, O. Fiehn, and Y. Gilad.
Scientific Reports, 2014

  Our Work in the Media

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