Associate Professor Samuel Forster leads the Microbiota and Systems Biology Laboratory within the Centre of Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases. A/Prof Forster completed his PhD with Professor Paul Hertzog investigating the whole transcriptome response to type I interferon signalling in macrophages. At the completion of his PhD, A/Prof Forster was awarded a NHMRC CJ Martin Biomedical Fellowship to undertake post-doctoral research at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute with Dr Trevor Lawley. In Cambridge, A/Prof Forster’s work resulted in the development of methods to culture the majority of human gastrointestinal microbiota, advanced algorithms for metagenomics analysis and identification of rationally selected bacteriotherapy candidates. His research has resulted in publications in numerous prestigious journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Immunology, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Communications, EMBO Journal and Bioinformatics.  Since his return to Hudson Institute, A/Prof Forster has been awarded a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2019-2022).

Research within A/Prof Forster’s laboratory combines microbiology, immunology and computational biology to understand the role of gastrointestinal microbiota and determine ways to modify these communities to improve human health.

Selected publications

  • Forster SC*, Kumar N, Anonye BO, Almeida A, Viciani E, Stares MD, Dunn M, Mkandawire TT, Zhu A, Shao Y, Pike LJ, Louie T, Browne HP, Mitchell AL, Neville BA, Finn RD & Lawley TD* (*co-corresponding authors) (2019) A human gut bacterial genome and culture collection for improved metagenomic analyses. Nature Biotech 37 (2): 186-192

  • Almeida A, Mitchell AL, Boland M, Forster SC, Gloor GB, Tarkowska A, Lawley TD & Finn RD (2019) A new genomic blueprint of the human gut microbiota. Nature 566 (7753): 499-504.

  • Pike LJ & Forster SC (2018) A new piece in the microbiome puzzle. Nat Rev Microbiol 16(4): 186.

  • Thomas-White K*, Forster SC*, Kumar N*, Van Kuiken M, Putonti C, Stares MD, Hilt EE, Price TK, Wolfe AJ & Lawley TD (* co-first authors) (2018) Culturing of female bladder bacteria reveals an interconnected urogenital microbiota. Nature Commun 9 (1): 1557

  • Forster SC (2017) Illuminating microbial diversity. Nat Rev Microbiol 15(10):578.

  • Iraola G*, Forster SC*, Kumar N, Lehours P, Bekal S, García-Peña FJ, Paolicchi F, Morsella C, Hotzel H, Hsueh PR, Vidal A, Lévesque S, Yamazaki W, Balzan C, Vargas A, Piccirillo A, Chaban B, Hill JE, Betancor L, Collado L, Truyers I, Midwinter AC, Dagi HT, Mégraud F, Calleros L, Pérez R, Naya H & Lawley TD (* co-first authors) (2017) Distinct Campylobacter fetus lineages adapted as livestock pathogens and human pathobionts in the intestinal microbiota. Nature Commun 8 (1): 1367

  • Browne HP*, Forster SC*, Anonye BO, Kumar N, Neville BA, Stares MD, Goulding D, Lawley TD (* co-first authors) (2016) Culturing of ‘unculturable’ human microbiota reveals novel taxa and extensive sporulation. Nature 533(7604):543-546.

  • Forster SC*, Browne HP, Kumar N, Hunt M, Denise H, Mitchell A, Finn RD, Lawley TD* (*co-corresponding authors) (2016) HPMCD: the database of human microbial communities from metagenomic datasets and microbial reference genomes. Nucleic Acids Res D1:604-609.

  • Giles EM, D’Adamo GL, Forster SC (2019) The future of faecal transplants. Nat Rev Microbiol 17(12):719.

  • Shao Y, Forster SC, Tsaliki E, Vervier K, Strang A, Simpson N, Kumar N, Stares MD, Rodger A, Brocklehurst P, Field N, Lawley TD (2019) Stunted microbiota and opportunistic pathogen colonization in caesarean-section birth. Nature 574(7776):117-121.

  • Kumar N, Browne HP, Viciani E, Forster SC, Clare S, Harcourt K, Stares MD, Dougan G, Fairley DJ, Roberts P, Pirmohamed M, Clokie MRJ, Jensen MBF, Hargreaves KR, Ip M, Wieler LH, Seyboldt C, Norén T, Riley TV, Kuijper EJ, Wren BW, Lawley TD (2019) Adaptation of host transmission cycle during Clostridium difficile speciation. Nat Genet 51(9):1315-1320.

  • James KR, Gomes T, Elmentaite R, Kumar N, Gulliver EL, King HW, Stares MD, Bareham BR, Ferdinand JR, Petrova VN, Polański K, Forster SC, Jarvis LB, Suchanek O, Howlett S, James LK, Jones JL, Meyer KB, Clatworthy MR, Saeb-Parsy K, Lawley TD, Teichmann SA (2020) Distinct microbial and immune niches of the human colon. Nat Immunology 21 (3): 343-353.

  • Forster, S.C., Clare, S., Beresford-Jones, B.S. et al. Identification of gut microbial species linked with disease variability in a widely used mouse model of colitis. Nat Microbiol 7, 590 – 599 (2022).

  • Forster, S.C., Liu, J., Kumar, N. et al. Strain-level characterization of broad host range mobile genetic elements transferring antibiotic resistance from the human microbiome. Nat Commun 13, 1445 (2022).