Dionysios Antonopoulos Lab

Dionysios Antonopoulos

Argonne National Laboratory
9700 S. Cass Avenue
Bldg 202, Room A-341
Argonne, IL 60439

Phone: (630) 252 3935

About the Lab

My laboratory specializes in microbial ecology and using metagenomic-enabled approaches to study communities of microorganisms in a variety of environments. We apply next-generation DNA sequencing technologies towards describing both the structure and function of microbial communities in these systems, taking advantage of the computational resources available at Argonne for handling the scale of data afforded by these technologies. I started my career as a microbiologist studying the cellulose-degrading capabilities of bacteria from production livestock, making extensive use of anaerobic cultivation buoyed by the then emerging area of comparative microbial genomics.  My interest in understanding mammalian gastrointestinal function has expanded to research in environmental systems (subsurface and topsoil systems) using metagenomics. Although the scales are vastly different between the two, similar approaches based in classical ecological theory can be used for both gastrointestinal and field research to circumnavigate the complex microbial communities underlying system function.

In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Chicago these approaches were used to understand the role that diet plays in promoting complex immune disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). This study, which appeared in the journal Nature, provides new insights into why some people are more likely than others to develop IBD (Devkota et al, 2012). Working with a mouse model, we traced both the shift in the microbial community structure and the corresponding host immune response to a diet high in saturated (milk-derived) fats. To dissolve such fats, the liver produces a form of bile rich in sulfur. When the bile reaches the intestines, a microbe called Bilophila wadsworthia – the name means “bile loving” – blooms. Such blooms can trigger the immune system in people with a genetic predisposition. Moreover, the byproducts of this microbe’s interaction with bile can amplify the effect, making the bowel more permeable and unleashing an unregulated immune response in individuals at high risk for diseases such as IBD.

Lab Members

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A
Dionysios Antonopoulos

Dionysios Antonopoulos

Argonne, Core Member, Fellow,
Microbial Systems Biologist, Biosciences Division, Argonne National Laboratory
Assistant Professor (Part-Time), Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago
(630) 252-3935
B

Brandon Bates

Alumni,
Dion Antonopoulos Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory
Research Technician
Dr. Jennifer Brulc, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Brulc, PhD

Alumni, Postdoc,
Senior Scientist for Global Scientific & Regulatory Affairs
Current Affiliation: The Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition at General Mills
Previous Affiliation: Dion Antonopoulos Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory
217-417-6349
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Theodore Flynn

Theodore Flynn


Dion Antonopoulos Laboratory, Biosciences Division at Argonne National Laboratory
Computation Institute at The University of Chicago
Research Scientist
(630) 252-1181
G

Aaron Garoutte

Alumni,
Dion Antonopoulos Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory
Research Technician
J

Eric R. Johnston

Research Technician,
Dion Antonopoulos Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory
Research Technician
K

Jason C. Koval

Research Technician,
Dion Antonopoulos Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory
Research Technician
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Sarah L. O'Brien

Sarah L. O'Brien

Argonne, Postdoc,
Assistant Environmental Microbiologist, Biosciences Division
Dion Antonopoulos Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory
(630) 252 7854

News

Dionysios Antonopoulos Named Chair-Elect

IGSB core investigator, Dionysios Antonopoulos, has been named ChairElect of the American Society for Microbiology’s Microbial Ecology Section. Dr. Antonopoulos’ research focuses on microbial ecology and using metagenomic enabled approaches to study communities of microbes in a variety of environments.

Why a diet rich in saturated fat can trigger bowel disorders

Dionysios Antonopoulos, an assistant biologist (microbiologist) in the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology at Argonne National Laboratory, is co-author (with Suzanne Devkota, Bana Jabri, Eugene Chang, and others at the University of Chicago) of a new study on the role that diet plays in promoting complex immune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Research Papers