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Kazuki Nagashima Wins NOSTER-Science Microbiome Prize

Kazuki Nagashima Wins NOSTER-Science Microbiome Prize

Kazuki Nagashima, who will join MCB as new faculty on August 1st,  has won the NOSTER-Science Microbiome Prize. Aimed at early career microbiome researchers, contest entrants write an essay describing their recent research into microbiota. Winning essays appear in an issue of the journal Science. As grand prize winner, Nagashima will receive a $25,000 cash prize and free five year subscription to Science

“I feel honored to be selected for the grand prize of this prestigious award on microbiome discoveries,” Nagashima says. “This is a great stepping stone for my transition to an independent scientist.” 

In his essay, Nagashima describes experiments that were part of his postdoctoral work at Stanford. The results appeared in a paper titled “Mapping the T cell repertoire to a complex gut bacterial community” in the journal Nature

In the study, Nagashima develops complex but completely defined bacterial communities that can be added to the guts of germfree mice. These communities enable experiments that show how strains influence the immune system in the presence of a complex, bustling microbial community. Nagashima and his colleagues wanted to understand how the immune system’s T cells respond to the various strains in the community. They performed 11,000 assays where they co-cultured bacterial strains alongside T-cells and found that most antigens cover multiple bacterial strains. Further investigation revealed that the antigens were targeted to conserved molecules that are present in many different bacterial strains.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to discuss our results in a way that is accessible to the general reader,” Nagashima says. 

Nagashima will build on this previous research as he assembles his lab here at MCB. 

Please join us in congratulating Kazuki Nagashima! 

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Kazuki Nagashima

Kazuki Nagashima