Short: Born in Seattle, college at Brown University, Fulbright Fellow in Panama, PhD student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Genomics, evolution, microbiology.

Long: I study the ecology and evolution of microbial communities, with a focus on creating practical solutions to problems in human and ecological health. I am a PhD student and NSF graduate research fellow in microbiology and biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Eric Alm’s lab. Using experimental and computational tools, my research includes understanding the role of the gut microbiota in metabolic syndrome (obesity and diabetes) and behavioral disorders (depression and anxiety), studying mechanisms of rapid adaptation, and designing new therapeutics for gut-related diseases like Clostridium difficile infections and inflammatory bowel disease. In the past, I have been a research associate at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center; a U.S. Fulbright Fellow and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Fellow in Bocas del Toro, Panama; a research technician at Brown University; and a kayak and bike expedition leader with the YMCA. I received my ScB from Brown University. For more information, please see my CV.

Besides research,  I love alpinism, outdoor education, and environmental causes.


linkedin, github

twitter: @nathanieldchu


3 thoughts on “About

  1. Nathaniel,

    I would really like to get in touch with you, and this is the only way I can find to contact you. Could you provide me with another way?

    A bit about me and why I’m contacting you: I’m from Olympia, will be graduating from The Evergreen State College, and I’m researching graduate schools. I’m primarily a [evolutionary] biology student, with a deep interest in immunology, and architecture incorporating microbiome engineering.

    The pursuit of happiness isn’t a fulfilling enough dream for me and I want to contribute to science meaningfully. From the look of your description on the MICRO graduate program webpage, what you are doing is some of exactly what I’m interested in doing. The coincidences seemed too great (to not contact you) since we’re both from Washington and I’ve been researching Brown University recently. I’m flying into Boston on the 18th, and I’ll be staying with my paternal side of the family in Maine all summer.

    I hope this comes across as a touching way to impart your knowledge to the future generations, as well as have some fun introducing me to MiT (if you’re interested!).

    I’m interested in connecting with some of the other graduate students in your program, so please share with them also. You were the only one with a link to something which I could connect through!



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