The overarching goal of research in the Balskus Lab is to transform our understanding of microbes and microbial communities by integrating the fields of chemistry and microbiology. Our ongoing work explores the many exciting questions existing at the interface of these fields. How can we discover and understand gut microbial functions that influence human biology? How can we rapidly uncover new and useful microbial chemistry in DNA sequencing data? What important properties and functions of microbes and microbial communities can be manipulated, and how should this be done? We aim to develop new, broadly useful approaches for studying the diverse chemical functions of microbes and microbial communities that will both illuminate how these organisms contribute to human biology and also improve our ability to use and control their remarkable chemical capabilities.