Jeremiah “Jake” Minich is a NOMIS Center Postdoctoral Fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (La Jolla, US).
Minich was born and raised in a rural part of central Pennsylvania (Appalachia; US). He received a BS in biochemistry and minor in Spanish from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, US, and an MS in molecular biology from San Diego State University. After his masters studies, Minich lived and did research in Malawi, Africa, as a Fulbright scholar. Upon return, he completed a PhD in marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the labs of Rob Knight and Eric Allen, where he studied the microbial ecology of mucosal sites in wild and farmed fish. Minich received the prestigious NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology, investigating host–microbe interactions in over 100 species of marine fish using a combination of microbial sequencing, comparative genomics of fish, and fish physiology in Todd Michael’s lab at Salk.
Minich is motivated to understand how fish consumption can help alleviate or prevent the burden of undernutrition in low- and middle-income countries. As a NOMIS Fellow, he will investigate the role of the gut microbiome in infant malnutrition. Malnutrition impacts over 149 million children worldwide and is the result of a combination of inadequate diet, micronutrient deficiencies, enteric dysfunction, gut inflammation and microbiome disruption. Minich is developing novel high-throughput, long-read sequencing methods to measure and compare microbiomes. By combining these advanced sequencing methods with machine learning, Jake aims to discover biomarkers predictive of disease progression in infants from a retrospective cohort from Malawi, Africa.