Holly Arnold is an Assistant Professor at Oregon State University. Her work links seeks to provide a set of universal standards to link the microbiome to ecosystem services. This framework allows for pinpointing of microbes or biosynethic clusters which perform functions of interest, with an ultimate goal of isolating novel drug candidates, pinpointing novel thereapeutic targets, or identification of genes which may perform bioremediation.
Holly has a keen interest in mapping the vertebrate gut microbiome to health outcomes (cognition, muscle hypertrophy, endurance performance) as well as to disease progression our outcomes (neurodegeneration, muscular dystrophy). She also recognizes that domesticated animals can provide a variety of health benefits, which have been quantified economically as savings to health insurance companies (for example owning a cat has been linked to reduction of blood pressure). She hypothesizes that some of these health benefits provided to humans are actually associated with shared microbial species between humans and domesticated animals. She seeks to unravel which microbes provide these functions through strain level transmission mapping strategies, and ultimately to determine how these microbial features have co-evolved with the animal microbiome.