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The Bess Lab

Discovering & Engineering Microbiome Chemistry 

© 2024, The Bess Lab

Mar. 1, 2024

Coming soon in ACS Chemical Biology: Our contribution to the first molecular-level mechanism connecting gut bacteria to intestinal α-synuclein aggregation.


Jun. 30, 2022

Excited to work with Aida Ebrahimi's lab to study the electro-chemistry of gut bacteria's role in α-synuclein aggregation. Thanks to RSCA for the support!


May. 28, 2021

Congratulations to  Kylie Uyeda and Zane Long, the newest PhD candidates in the Bess Lab!


July 31, 2020

Delighted to be supported by the Global Probiotics Council to study the chemical reactions that gut bacteria perform when they degrade fiber.


Dec. 29, 2023

Thrilled to be awarded an NSF CAREER grant to support our research on lignin digestion by bacteria.


Jun. 30, 2022

Honored to be supported by RSCA to work with Stephanie Cologna's lab and Faranak Fattahi's lab to study how α-synuclein aggregates form in the enteric nervous system


Mar. 23, 2021

Congratulations to  graduate student Kylie Uyeda for being awarded an Honorable Mention for her application to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program!


July 17, 2020

Bess Lab celebrates its first student advancing to PhD candidacy! Congratulations, Barry!


May 24, 2023

The Chao Family Com- prehensive Cancer Center is supporting the Bess, Jang, and Whiteson Labs to use the gut microbiome to predict effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs.


Jun. 23, 2022

Check out our Article in J. Appl. Microbiol. on an a way that gut bacteria can synthesize dopamine.


Mar. 23, 2021

Congratulations to  graduate student Zane Long for being awarded an Honorable Mention  for his application to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program!


June 16, 2020

Bess Lab awarded UC Irvine Hellman Fellowship!


Oct. 7, 2022

Thanks to support from the ACS TheoryLab Collaborative Grant for the support, the Bess and Jang Labs are mapping the gut microbiome's role in fighting breast cancer.


Jun. 8, 2022

Check out our pre-print on bioRxiv showing how gut bacteria convert dopamine, iron, and α-synuclein into a toxic trio that causes α-synuclein aggregation and neurodegeneration


Jan. 5, 2021

Congratulations to 3rd-year graduate student Barry Rich for receiving the prestigious ARCS Scholar Award.


Jan. 10, 2020

Professor Bess named a Scialog fellow by Research Corp.


Oct. 3, 2022

Professor Bess interviewed by the podcast ChemTalk! Listen to the conversation about the chemistry of the gut microbiome here.


Aug. 24, 2021

Check out our Commentary in mSystems about how C. elegans can be used to dissect the gut–grain axis.


Oct. 1, 2020

Honored to be supported by the UC Cancer Research Coordinating Committee for our research on the gut microbiome's role in breast cancer therapy.


Oct. 10, 2019

Honored to be supported by the American Cancer Society and UCI for our work on estrogen and the gut microbiome.

ADME Models

We are characterizing the chemical-reaction repertoire of the gut microbiome—informing drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) models—to uncover the microbiome's impacts on pharmacology and health.

Hormone Signaling

We are elucidating the molecular mechanisms by which the microbiome mediates hormone levels in humans, which has important implications for health and disease.

Gut—Brain Axis

There is mounting evidence that the human gut microbiome impacts the brain. We are unravelling the molecular-level mechanisms causally linking the gut microbiome to Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis.

Dietary Fiber

Lignocellulose is an abundant but understudied dietary fiber. We are discovering how gut bacterial  degradation of this dietary fiber shapes the functions and chemical environment of the gut microbiome.

Watercolor by Rebecca McGillivary, @rebmcg
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