Ophelia S. Venturelli

photo of Ophelia S. Venturelli
Assistant Professor (also Bacteriology and Chemical and Biological Engineering)
B.S., Stanford University, 2002-2006
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 2007-2013
Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley, 2013-2016
Phone: (608) 263-7017
Email: venturelli@wisc.edu

Understanding and engineering microbial communities
across space and time

The Venturelli Lab aims to understand and engineer the spatiotemporal behaviors of microbial communities. We seek to elucidate the molecular and ecological design principles of microbial communities using tools from systems & synthetic biology. Our lab uses microfabrication methods to probe how spatial heterogeneity influences microbial communities and develops high-throughput methods to study microbial interactions in microbiomes. A major goal is to design novel strategies to precisely shift microbiomes to desired metabolic states.

We are fascinated by the complexity of the human gut microbiome and how to control microbiome functions. We study how microbial interaction networks impact the assembly, stability and functions of the human gut microbiome. In addition, we design novel circuits in key commensal or probiotic bacteria to sense and respond to environmental stimuli for therapeutic applications.

Schematic of a microbial interaction network


Schematic of a microbial interaction network
highlighting they key intracellular networks
and metabolites mediating each interaction.