Dion Antonopoulos is a microbiologist specializing in microbial ecology and using metagenomic-enabled approaches to study communities of microorganisms in a variety of environments.
Dion began his career as a microbiologist studying the cellulose-degrading capabilities of bacteria from production livestock, making extensive use of anaerobic cultivation buoyed by the then emerging area of comparative microbial genomics. His interest in understanding mammalian gastrointestinal function has expanded since then by his ongoing research in environmental systems (subsurface and topsoil systems) using metagenomics. Although the scales are vastly different between the two, many of the approaches Dion uses in both gastrointestinal and field research are steeped in classical ecological theory and serve to circumnavigate the complex microbial communities underlying system function.
Currently, his research team is actively involved in applying next (“now”)-generation DNA sequencing technologies to describing both the structure and function of microbial communities in these systems and has taken advantage of the computational resources available at Argonne for handling the scale of data afforded by these technologies.
In addition to his duties at Argonne, Dion is also an Assistant Professor in the Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago and is Director of the Enteric Microbiology Component of the Digestive Diseases Research Core Center there. His joint appointment between the two institutions enables interactions between the clinical and next generation DNA sequencing-enabled approaches to understand the microbial world.