Tami D. Lieberman

Tami D. Lieberman

Hermann L.F. von Helmholtz Career Development Professor
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Assistant Professor, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science
TLieberman Photo

Using computational and experimental tools to uncover the causes and consequences of evolution within the microbiome.

The bacteria that colonize humans during health change within us, driven by adaptive evolution. The Lieberman Lab seeks to leverage this evolution to better understand species and strains within the microbiome, to understand the impact of within-person evolution on community structure and host health, and to use this knowledge to improve the development of microbiome-based therapies. A key approach in the lab is high-throughput culturing from human samples, which enables 'single-cell' whole-genome analysis and evolutionary reconstruction. Our work is currently focused in four areas:

  • Understanding the role of within-person evolution on community structure;
  •  Leveraging the mutations that bacteria accumulate during colonization of individual people to infer past migrations within and across body sites, selective pressures faced by bacteria in vivo, and the molecular strategies used to adapt to these pressures;
  • Tool development for strain-level analysis of microbiome data
  • Developing general principles of rapid adaptation in microbial communities.

We are a growing lab and actively recruiting new members!

Selected Publications:

Zhao S*, Lieberman TD*+, Poyet M, Groussin M, Gibbons SM, Xavier RJ, Alm EJ+. Adaptive evolution within the gut microbiome of individual people” bioRxiv, doi: 10.1101/208009

Lieberman TD, Wilson D, Misra R, Xiong LL, Moodley P, Cohen T, Kishony R. (2016). “Genomic diversity in autopsy samples reveals within-host dissemination of HIV-associated Mycobacterium tuberculosis.Nature Medicine, doi:10.1038/nm.4205.

Baym M, Lieberman TD, Kelsic ED, Chait R, Gross M, Yelin I, Kishony R. (2016). “Spatiotemporal microbial evolution on antibiotic landscapes.”  Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aag0822.

Lieberman TD, Flett KB, Yelin I, Martin TR, McAdam AJ, Priebe GP, Kishony R. (2014). “Genetic variation of a bacterial pathogen within individuals with cystic fibrosis provides a record of selective pressures.” Nature Genetics, doi: 10.1038/ng.2848.

Lieberman TD*, Michel JB*, Aingaran M, Potter-Bynoe G, Roux D, Davis MR, Skurnik D, Lieby N, LiPuma JJ, Goldberg JB, McAdam AJ, Priebe GP, Kishony R. (2011). “Parallel bacterial evolution within multiple patients identifies candidate pathogenicity genes.” Nature Genetics, doi: 10.1038/ng.997.

Contact Information

Building E25, Room 348
MIT Campus
77 Massachusetts Avenue,
Cambridge, MA 02139
p: 617 253-9757

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