Agilent Early Career Professor Award

Agilent congratulates Christoph A. Thaiss, winner of the 2018 Agilent Early Career Professor Award

2018 Focus: Contributions to the development and advancement of techniques and approaches for the study of the human microbiome, microbiome-host interactions and interaction between individual microbiome components.

Christoph Thaiss, Ph.D.

Christoph Thaiss, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Microbiology
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Thaiss received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Bonn, Germany, in 2010. He then completed his Master in Immunology and Microbiology at Yale University working with Richard Flavell and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, with Wolf-Dietrich Hardt. In 2012, he returned to the US as a Visiting Fellow at the Broad Institute of MIT/Harvard in Todd Golub's group. He then headed to the Middle East to work with Eran Elinav at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in 2017.  During his time as a graduate student, he spent a short-term fellowship at Stanford University in 2013. Dr. Thaiss was recruited directly after completion of his Ph.D. by the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine in 2018, where he is Assistant Professor at the Microbiology Department.

Dr. Thaiss has made seminal contributions to the field of host-microbiome interactions. He has used multi-omic approaches, from sequencing-based metagenomics to mass spectrometry-based metabolomics analysis, coupled to in vitro and in vivo systems to study the prokaryotic microbiome, its eukaryotic host and their interplay. His work has resulted in the discovery that the intestinal microbiome undergoes diurnal rhythms which strongly influence the circadian biology of the host. In addition, he has identified "memory"-like signatures in the microbiome after obesity, which predispose the host to recurrent weight regain. Recently, he has found that hyperglycemia causes loss of intestinal barrier integrity and microbiota containment, providing a mechanism for the association between obesity and chronic multi-organ inflammation. He has also provided evidence that support the therapeutic potential of "post-biotics", which are microbiota-derived metabolites with a tremendous impact on human health and disease.

His outstanding work has been recognized by a number of awards, including the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, the Innovation Award of the German Medical Association, and the John F. Kennedy prize of the Weizmann Institute of Science.


Purpose of Award

  • Promote and encourage excellent research enabling measurements of importance to Agilent Technologies and the world
  • Establish strong collaborative relationships between Agilent researchers and leading professors early in their career
  • Build the prominence of Agilent as a sponsor of university research

Selection Criteria

  • Significant original research contributions enabling measurements of importance to Agilent Technologies and the world
  • Outstanding potential for future research
  • Alignment with specified focus of the award
  • Professor (see FAQ) completed Ph.D. or residency (in case of M.D.'s or M.D.- Ph.D.'s) not earlier than 10 years prior to January of the corresponding award year

Award Information

  • An unrestricted award of a total of $100,000 in support of the professor's research paid to the university in two annual installments
    • Option to use all or part of award to obtain Agilent products at 50% discount
    • Option to accelerate payments to facilitate procurement of equipment with list price over $100k
  • Engraved plaque commemorating award
  • Recognition on Agilent's website

2019 ECPA Award

  • Award focus, instructions and deadlines will be posted in October 2018.


Past Winners

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