The Team

Jacques Ravel is a Professor and the Associate Director for Genomics at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. His research focuses on the role of the vaginal microbiota in women’s health and women’s risk for sexually transmitted infections. More specifically, he is focused on studying and developing solutions for conditions such as bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections, preterm birth, and menopause associated vaginal symptoms. Jacques is well-known for his work on the changes in the vaginal microbiota over time. He is the Editor in Chief of the journal Microbiome, an open-access publications dedicated to studies of the human microbiome.


Cindy M. Liu will be joining Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University as a Research Assistant Professor in July 2015. Her work focuses on penile microbiota in couple’s health and risk for sexually transmitted infections. She is particularly interested in ecological interactions in the human microbiota, such as how penile bacteria interact with each other and with vaginal bacteria. With this research, Cindy hopes to find new ways to promote health and prevent infections. 



Jonathan A. Eisen is a Professor at the University of California Davis whose research and educational activities focus on the diversity of microbes and how they interact with each other and with plant and animal host species.  In addition, he is an active and award winning science communicator, writer and blogger. Check Jonathan out at,, or follow him at @phylogenomics