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2024 Fellow

Jacob Beckham

PhD Institution
Rice University

As a 2024 Schmidt Science Fellow, Jacob will explore how the gut’s microbiome influences our mental health in order to develop new bioelectronic therapeutics for anxiety.

Recent findings show the gut microbiome, the bacteria in your digestive tract, plays a surprisingly large role in mood disorders. However, we haven’t yet identified the circuits and proteins that drive the effects of these bacteria on the brain.

Jacob’s proposed experiments aim to create a better understanding of how bacteria reduce anxiety and how we can mimic their signaling to treat mental health disorders.

Interdisciplinary Pivot: Chemistry to Biological Sciences