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Behind the science: meet the faces of the lab!

The Lab

July 1, 2024

Sarah Hasham begins her position as the full-time Rubin lab manager! We are excited and lucky to have her on board facilitating the administrative work, organization, and overall support of our lab functions! 

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A picture of Sarah.

The Lab

May 10, 2024

We are thrilled to congratulate our stellar lab manager Leo Song on his graduate school decisions and announce that Leo will be continuing with the Rubin Lab as a graduate student through the UC Berkeley Comparative Biochemistry department!


A picture of Leo.

The Lab

May 2, 2024

Congratulations to our undergraduate researchers Abby Wang and Danh Tran for receiving the 2024 UC Berkeley Rose Hills Summer Scholarships, which generously awards $5,000 to support undergraduate students in pursuing intensive research over the summer!

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A picture of Abby and Danh.

The Lab

April 5, 2024

Sophia (co-advised by Jennifer Doudna and Brady Cress) has passed her qualifying exam with flying colors! She spectacularly presented her proposal on studying CAST post-transcription complex disassembly. We are endlessly proud of our lab's first PhD candidate and all of her accomplishments!

Photos from Sophia's qualifying exam celebration!

The Lab

January 31, 2024

Christine Corry and Danh Tran join the lab as undergraduate researchers, working with Jigyasa on implementing and research models in the context of microbiome editing.

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A picture of Christine and Danh.

The Lab

January 1, 2024

Sarah Hasham joins the lab as an assistant lab manager, supporting Leo with administrative work before she transitions into the Lab Manager role after graduating in the spring! 

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A picture of Sarah.


December 15, 2023

The Rubin Lab celebrated the end of the year with the Cress Lab at the annual Doudna Lab holiday party! 


Happy holidays from our lab to yours!

The Lab

December 8-10, 2023

The Rubin Lab attended the International Conference on Microbiome Engineering (ICME) 2023, co-chaired by Ben and Brady Cress! We had a great showing at the conference, with presentations from Amanda, Jigyasa, and Jon, and Leo and Sophia giving a fantastic presentation on our lab's work on CAST regulators.  

Photos from ICME 2023!


November 6, 2023

Lab members had a blast at the first Rubin and Cress Lab retreat at Point Reyes! Many happy memories were made hiking, hanging out at the beach, kayaking, and cooking together despite the rain. 

Photos from retreat!

The Lab

October 16, 2023

We are excited to welcome postdoctoral researchers Bingliang Xie, Lindsey Pieper, and Jon Martinson to the lab! They will be investigating positive metabolic selection, advancing microbiome editing with a focus on community dynamics, and exploring microbial genes and their role in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, respectively.  


Bingliang, Lindsey, and Jon (from left to right).



October 11, 2023

Introducing Precision Microbiome Editing | Innovative Genomics Institute

What exactly is precision microbiome editing, and why is it such an important tool? Ben discusses its exciting applications and how our lab aims to harness microbiome editing in the latest Inside Genomics video from

the Innovative Genomics Institute.

The Lab

September 28, 2023

The Rubin Lab had a splendid time at the annual Inside IGI Conference! Congratulations to Leo, Sophia, Amanda, Jigyasa, and Abby for scoring second in the best poster contest! 

Photos of the lab at the Inside IGI: Health Conference!

The Lab

September 13, 2023

A warm welcome to Agnès Oromi-Bosch, joining the Rubin Lab as a research associate! She will be working jointly with the Cress Lab to develop strategies for enabling efficient CRISPR-based editing of non-model gut bacteria and uncovering microbe-host interaction mechanisms. 


A picture of Agnès.



August 27, 2023

Precision Microbiome Editing To Tackle Methane Emissions, by Molly Campbell | Technology Networks

Ben chats about ET-Seq and DART in this article on the work behind CRISPR and precision microbiome editing, the exciting TED Audacious Project, and how we can harness microbiome editing to tackle climate change.

The Lab

August 15, 2023

We are honored to announce funding by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to UC Berkeley. The generous grant will propel our work on microbiome editing tools, aiding in the understanding of Crohn's disease, with the ultimate goal of creating innovative treatments for this chronic condition.


This project will be co-led by the Cress Lab at the Innovative Genomics Institute at UC Berkeley and is in collaboration with the Devkota Lab at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

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The Helmsley Charitable Trust logo.


August 9, 2023

The Rubin Lab celebrated the first anniversary of our lab with lunch (missing Amanda and Zoë)! It was an amazing time chatting about the past year of science and community-building, and all the exciting changes ahead!


Leo, Abby, Ben, Jigyasa, and Sophia (from left to right).

The Lab

June 29, 2023

Leo and Sophia present on CAST regulators at the CRISPR2023 Conference in Würzburg, Germany! 

Photos of Leo and Sophia's poster and CRISPR2023 conference!

The Lab

June 5, 2023

Ben attends the Sequencing to Function: Analysis and Application for the Future (SFA²F) conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Photos from the SFA²F conference!

The Lab

May 15, 2023

Welcome to Jigyasa Arora who is joining the Rubin Lab as a staff scientist! She will be spearheading the bioinformatics side of the lab and working on optimizing tools to investigate the regulation of CRISPR-associated transposon and more.


A picture of Jigyasa.

The Lab

May 8, 2023

A warm welcome to our new graduate student Sophia Swartz! She will be working on investigating the regulation and integration mechanism of CRISPR-associated transposons to develop and optimize editing tools for non-model microbes. Sophia is co-advised by Jennifer Doudna and Brady Cress.


A picture of Sophia.

The Lab

May 2, 2023

Huge congratulations to our undergraduate researcher Sara Smith who will be attending UCSF’s Biological and Medical Informatics program later this fall! We are tremendously excited and can’t wait to see all the great things she will accomplish in graduate school in the coming years!


Sara's graduation picture!

The Lab

April 21, 2023

Congratulations to undergraduate researcher Abby Wang for receiving a UC Berkeley 2023 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)! The fellowship will support Abby’s research over the summer as she works on projects related to VcDART with the lab. 


A picture of Abby.

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April 17, 2023

Precision Microbiome Editing 101 with Brady Cress and Ben Rubin, by Hope Henderson | Innovative Genomics Institute

What is precision microbiome editing? Learn more about microbiomes, why microbiomes matter, and how the lab is tackling creating tools to edit the genes of microbes within their complex, natural environment. 



April 17, 2023

IGI’s ‘Audacious’ New Frontier for CRISPR: Editing Microbiomes for Climate and Health, by Andy Murdock | Innovative Genomics Institute

The Rubin Lab is excited to be part of the initiative headed by Jennifer Doudna and Jill Banfield to use CRISPR genome editing to engineer the microbiome in order to address global problems in climate and human health. This initiative is generously supported by $70 million in funding through the Audacious Project. 

The Lab

February 1, 2023

Big smiles from the lab's first solo lab meeting!

A picture of Abby Wang, Sara Smith, Ben Rubin, Leo Song, Amanda Alker, and Sophia Swartz at a laboratory meeting.

Abby, Sara, Ben, Leo, Amanda, and Sophia (from left to right)! 


January 10, 2023

The lab welcomes Amanda with members of the Cress Lab!


Leo, Sophia, Kate, Amanda, Ben, and Brady (from left to right).

The Lab

January 9, 2023

Amanda Alker joins the lab as a postdoctoral researcher. She will be developing microbial community editing techniques and applying them to new systems (such as plant-root microbiomes!). 


A picture of Amanda.


December 14, 2022

The Rubin Lab holds its first annual holiday dinner with friends from the Cress Lab! (Also, check out our Twitter launch!)


Great food and good company!

A hand pipetting into a petri dish with several bacterial colonies


October 4, 2022

New Gift Supports Precision Microbiome Editing Technology Development at the IGI, by Andy Murdock | Innovative Genomics Institute

A $2.5 million gift from the Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation supports BIOME's research efforts on developing microbiome editing technology.  

The Lab

September 26, 2022

The Rubin Lab takes its first group photo featuring all the members of the lab!

A group picture of the Rubin Lab

Abby, Sara, Ben and Leo (from left to right)! 

The Lab

August 23, 2022

Abby Wang joins the Rubin Lab as an undergraduate graphic designer and researcher, designing this website and working on other graphical tasks! 

A picture of Abby

A picture of Abby.

The Lab

August 2, 2022

The Rubin Lab sets up its first lab space at the Innovative Genomics Institute Building! 

The Rubin Lab space at the IGIB!

The Lab

August 1, 2022

The Rubin Lab starts at UC Berkeley, focusing on the applications of microbiome editing. Its first members are Ben Rubin, Leo Song, and Sara Smith!

Group picture of Leo, Ben, and Sarah from left to right.

Leo, Ben, and Sara (from left to right)! 

A graphical image of DNA being edited


July 26, 2022

From infant poop to trance music, here’s a play-by-play of a CRISPR experiment, by Hayden Field | Morning Brew

A fantastic article featuring Ben and colleagues discussing the experimental process and how they employ CRISPR to edit gut microbiomes. 

An illustration of "good" and "bad" microbes


May 17, 2022

A toolkit for microbial community editing, by Susannah G. Tringe | Nature Reviews Microbiology

An article detailing how microbial community editing works and its current status in research. 

Picture of Ben Rubin, Spencer Diamond, and Brady Cress


February 18, 2022

A new strategy for editing DNA within microbial communities using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, by Kristina Campbell | Microbiome Times

A conversation with Ben, Brady Cress, and Spencer Diamond on how microbiomes can be edited, the strategies, and its applications for future research.  

A picture of petri dish with bacteria colonies


December 13, 2021

Genome editing in complex microbial communities, by Immy Mobley | Front Line Genomics

Front Line Genomics covers the new findings and strategies characterized by Ben and colleagues to edit genomes of microorganisms in microbial communities as published in Nature Microbiology

A dart board with three arrows in the center


December 8, 2021

CRISPR editing within microbial communities, by Linda Koch | Nature Reviews Genetics

A research highlight detailing how the editing approaches ET-seq (environmental transformation sequencing) and DART (DNA-editing all-in-one RNA-guided CRISPR–Cas transposase) were developed and are currently being applied to edit microbiomes. 

A picture of ET-seq, a genomic tool editing kit


December 6, 2021

DART takes aim at community editing, by Connie W. Y. Ha & Suzanne Devkota | Nature Microbiology

DART (DNA-editing all-in-one RNA-guided CRISPR–Cas transposase), one of the methods used to conduct community editing, is explained. 

Ben Rubin, Brady Cress, and Spencer Diamond looking at a petri dish


December 6, 2021

CRISPRing the Microbiome is Just Around the Corner, by Robert Sanders | Innovative Genomics Institute

An article from the Innovative Genomics Institute discussing the exciting applications of CRISPR to modify microbiomes. The article goes into depth on Ben, Brady Cress, and Spencer Diamond's work. 

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