2016 President's Innovator Award Winner

The Society for Glycobiology has recently inaugurated the President’s Innovator Award. The purpose of the award is to acknowledge the contributions of one scientist each year that has made a significant impact on society.

The 2016 President's Innovator Award will be presented to Jeffrey Gordon, the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, for introducing the scientific community to the concept of the microbiome and demonstrating its influence on human biology.

Dr. Gordon obtained his undergraduate education at Oberlin College, his M.D. from the University of Chicago, his clinical training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at Washington University and did a post-doctoral fellowship at the NIH.  He joined the faculty at Washington University in 1981 where he has spent his entire career, first in the Departments Medicine and Biological Chemistry, then as head of the Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology (1991-2004), and subsequently as founding Director of an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology.

Dr. Gordon has been a mentor to over 125 PhD and MD/PhD students as well as postdoctoral fellows. Together, they have helped redefine the way that we look at self by investigating the integral relationship between our microbial communities and our physiologic and metabolic features. To do so, they have created gnotobiotic animal models, and developed new experimental and computational approaches for characterizing the assembly, dynamic operations, functional properties, and biological effects of human gut microbial communities. He has combined these preclinical models with human studies of twins, as well as of members of birth cohorts living in low-, middle- and high-income countries. His group is focused on addressing the global health challenges of obesity and childhood undernutrition through new understanding of the interactions between diets and the gut microbiome and new ways of promoting healthy development of the gut community during the first several years of postnatal life.

The quality and impact of Dr. Gordon’s research cannot be over-stated and his pioneering expertise in the field speaks for itself in his publications. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Philosophical Society plus the recipient of a number of awards, including the Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology, the Robert Koch Award, the Passano Award, the Dickson Prize in Medicine, and the Keio Medical Science Prize.