Ophelia S. Venturelli
HF DeLuca Biochemical Sciences Building
440 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706
Ph: (608) 263-7017
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Understanding and engineering microbial communities across space and time
The Venturelli Lab aims to understand and engineer the spatiotemporal behaviors of microbial communities. We seek to elucidate the molecular and ecological design principles of microbial communities using tools from systems & synthetic biology. Our lab uses microfabrication methods to probe how spatial heterogeneity influences microbial communities and develops high-throughput methods to study microbial interactions in microbiomes. A major goal is to design novel strategies to precisely shift microbiomes to desired metabolic states. Our research combines multiplexed measurements of single cells and populations with concepts from nonlinear dynamical systems, control theory and multi-objective optimization.
We are fascinated by the complexity of the human gut microbiome and how to control microbiome functions. We study how microbial interaction networks impact the assembly, stability and functions of the human gut microbiome. In addition, we design novel circuits in key commensal or probiotic bacteria to sense and respond to environmental stimuli for therapeutic applications.