In John Rawls' basement lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, thousands of spotted and striped zebrafish swim in their shoe box-sized tanks. Some of the eggs the fish lay Rawls will make sterile after fertilization - each time creating a new chance to examine the relationship between gut microbes and their host environments.
Rawls first started working with zebrafish in 1996 during his graduate work at Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied the cellular mechanisms involved in pigment patterning.
In 2000 Rawls met with Gordon. Both agreed that the zebrafish's transparent body would be a novel way to observe the digestive tract and its microbes, says Rawls. He joined the Gordon lab....
Title: Assistant professor of cell and molecular physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1. J.F. Rawls and S.L. Johnson, "Zebrafish kit mutation reveals primary and secondary regulation of melanocyte development during fin stripe regeneration," Development ,127: 3715-24, 2000. (Cited in 38 papers) 2. J.F. Rawls et al., "Gnotobiotic zebrafish reveal evolutionarily conserved responses to the gut microbiota," Proc Natl Acad Sci, 101:4596-601, 2004. (Cited in 60 papers) 3. J.F. Rawls et al., "Reciprocal gut microbiota transplants from zebrafish and mice to germ-free recipients reveal host habitat selection," Cell, 127:423-33, 2006. (Cited in 30 papers)