Jeff Gore (cvgoogle scholarpersonal site)
Associate Professor, Department of Physics
PhD Physics, UC Berkeley (2005)
BS Physics, Mathematics, Economics, & Electrical Eng @ MIT
Office:  NE46-609 (map)   Phone:  617-715-4251    Lab:  617-324-7861

Jeff's research interests have ranged widely, from the current focus on ecological dynamics to his single-molecule research in graduate school with the Bustamante laboratory. Before starting his own lab, Jeff was a Pappalardo Fellow in the Physics Department at MIT working with the van Oudenaarden laboratory studying cooperation and cheating in yeast.

Jeff's honors include an NIH New Innovator AwardNIH K99/R00 Pathways to Independence Award, and an NSF CAREER Award. In addition, Jeff is a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical SciencesSloan Research Fellow, and an Allen Distinguished Investigator. He has also been recognized at MIT for his efforts in teaching and mentoring; in 2011 he was chosen as the MIT-wide undergraduate research (UROP) mentor of the year and in 2013 he received the Buechner Teaching Award from the Physics Department.

Graduate Students
Department of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Gore Laboratory
Department of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Physics of Living Systems Group
400 Technology Square, NE46-602
Cambridge, MA 02139
Physics of Living Systems @MIT

Past Members

  • Kirill Korolev (2010 - 2013) is now an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department at Boston University. As a Pappalardo Postdoctoral Fellow, he collaborated with us on a number of projects probing the spatial dynamics of populations.
  • Alvaro Sanchez (2011 - 2013) is now a Junior Fellow at the Rowland Institute and in 2016 will be starting as an Assistant Professor at Yale. With us he studied the coupling between population and evolutionary dynamics in a cooperatively growing microbe (Sanchez and Gore, PLOS Biology (2013))

Graduate Students 
  • Tatiana Artemova (PhD 2015) works works at Morgan Stanley.
  • Kevin Axelrod (PhD 2016) is a consultant with McKinsey & Company.
  • Hasan Celiker (PhD 2014) is the founder of Xeno Biosciences Inc, a startup pioneering a novel class of treatments targeting the human gut microbiome to treat metabolic diseases, with an initial focus on general obesity. 
  • Manoshi Datta (PhD 2016) is currently doing a short postdoc with Otto Cordero here at MIT.
  • Lei Dai (PhD 2014) is now studying viral fitness landscapes with Jamie Lloyd-Smith at UCLA. Lei's work with us focused on the experimental measurement of early warning indicators before catastrophic population collapse. In his first paper with us, he used laboratory yeast populations to demonstrate an increase in the size and timescale of population fluctuations before collapse (Dai et al, Science (2012)). He next demonstrated that before collapse of spatially extended populations there is an increase in "recovery length" at the boundary between regions of different environmental quality (Dai et al, Nature (2013)). For this work Lei received the APS Division of Biological Physics Thesis Prize in 2014. 
  • Dave Healey (PhD 2015) is now a data scientist in Utah.
  • Daan Vorselen (2010) was a visiting Masters students from the Netherlands.  He spent eight months with us studying early warning signals of approaching population collapse together with Lei. For his contribution, he was co-first-author on our paper published in Science. He is currently a PhD student at the VU University in The Netherlands working with Gijs Wuite.
  • Eugene Yurtsev (PhD 2015) is now a computational data analyst here in Cambridge.

Undergraduate Researchers 

  • Hui Xiao "Sherry" Chao (2009 - 2012) studied cooperation and cheating in the context of antibiotic resistance (Yurtsev*, Chao*, et al, Molecular Systems Biology (2013)), and is about to start as an MD/PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill.
  • Andrew Chen (2012 - 2013) was an undergraduate researcher in the group studying the dynamics of a producer-parasite population before collapse (Chen*, Sanchez*, et al, Nature Communications, 2014)
  • Ivana Cvijovic (2011) was an undegraduate summer research student working on range expansions, and is now a graduate student in the Harvard Systems Biology PhD program (our fourth such student!).
  • Carmel Dudley (2011 - 2012) explored the evolutionary consequences of the fact that bacteria often collectively grow in antibiotics.
  • Ylaine Gerardin (2010) studied the conditions that favor the evolution of antibiotic resistance, and is now a graduate student in the Harvard Systems Biology PhD program working with Roy Kishony and Mike Springer.
  • Teresa Krieger (2011) was part of the MIT-Cambridge Exchange Program. She worked with us probing the behavior of populations at the edge of collapse, and is now in the Physics PhD Program at Oxford. 
  • Sophia Li (2011 - 2012) explored conditions in which bacterial strains could survive multi-drug treatments via a mutualism. She is now at Princeton with the Quantitative Biology PhD Program. 
  • Anthony Ortiz (2015 - 2016) is now a PhD student in the MIT Microbiology Program.
  • Stephen Serene (2009 - 2010) worked with us as a sophomore collaborating with Longzhi Tan in a study quantifying the reversibility of evolution on a rugged fitness landscape (Tan*, Serene*, Chao, and Gore, Physical Review Letters (2011)). He then did computational neuroscience with Sebastian Seung before going to Rockefeller for his PhD.
  • Mashaal Sohail (2011) worked with Hasan Celiker probing how competition between species can favor cooperation within a species. She is now a graduate student in the Harvard Systems Biology Program.
  • Longzhi Tan (2009 - 2011) quantified  the reversibility of evolution during adaptation to antibiotics (Tan et al, Phys Rev Lett (2011)). He also  demonstrated computationally that slowly switching between environments increases the reversibility of evolution (Tan et al, Evolution (2012)). He is now working with Sunney Xie as a graduate student in the Harvard Systems Biology Departement.

Funding Sources

Arolyn Conwill 
Physics Graduate Student (2010 start)
BS Physics, Pomona College
aconwill at
Office: NE46-629

Arolyn's first project demonstrated that a bacterial mutualism can allow for survival in multi-drug environments (Yurtsev*, Conwill*, et al, PNAS, 2016). Now Arolyn is exploring dynamics and alternative stable states in communities containing dozens of species.
Jonathan Friedman (google scholar)
PhD Computational and Systems Biology, MIT (2013)
Office:  NE46-631
yonatanf at

Jonathan's doctoral researched focused on leveraging high-throughput genomic surveys to study the structure of natural microbial communities. In the Gore lab, he is interested in testing the principles that shape ecological communities in simple, tractable model systems.  
Nic Vega (google scholar)
PhD Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biochemistry
Boston University (2013)
Office:  NE46-633
nvega at 

Nic's doctoral research at Boston University explored bacterial signaling and community dynamics and their effects on antibiotic response. In the Gore lab Nic has developed C. elegans as a model to study multi-species microbial community assembly within a host (Vega & Gore, PLOS Biology (2017)).
 Ecological Systems Biology
Logan Higgins
NSF Graduate Fellow
Microbiology PhD Student (2012 start)
BA Biology & Mathematics, Lewis & Clark College 
loganh at
Office: NE46-627

Logan's undergraduate research focused on the ecology of plant-symbiotic microorganisms in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. In our lab she is studying the patterns of interactions between bacterial species isolated from a soil community, where she finds an extremely hierarchical competitive network that contains essentially no non-transitive rock-paper-scissors trios (Higgins et al, in prep). 

Lab Manager
Olutayo (Ty) Ogun 
M.Sc Biological Sciences, UMASS Lowell
ooo at
Office:  NE46-Lab

Ty is in charge of the overall safety of the lab and interested in the day to day operation of the lab research.
Lab Administrative Assistant
Monica Wolf
BA Social Psychology, UMASSBoston
mwolf at
Office:  13 - 2029
Phone: 617 253-4829
Fax: 617 258-6883

Saurabh Gandhi
Physics Graduate Student (2013 start)
B. Tech. in Engineering Physics, 
Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay
gsaurabh at
Office: NE46-629

Saurabh has demonstrated that modulating the degree of cooperative growth within a spatially expanding population can change the expansion from a pull to a push wave (Gandhi et al, PNAS (2016)) and the consequences for genetic drift (Gandhi et al, in prep). Now Saurabh is exploring horizontal gene transfer.

Martina Dal Bello
PhD Ecology, University of Pisa (2014)
Office:  NE46-610
dalbello at

Martina was trained as an ecologist doing field experiments on intertidal communities. In the Gore lab she is studying worm behavior and foraging, and in particular response to pheromones.
Avihu Yona (google scholar)
HFSP Postoctoral Fellow
PhD Weizmann Institute of Science (2013)
Office:  NE46-633
avihuy at

In his doctoral research Avihu utilized experimental evolution to study the evolutionary dynamics of genomic duplications like aneuploidy and families of homologous genes. In the Gore and Alm labs, he is interested in how complex populations evolve as whole biological entity and which evolutionary forces can be applied to reshape such populations towards desirable traits. In his first project, he has demonstrated that random sequences can evolve to be a functional promoter de novo (Yona et al, bioRxiv, 2017).
Christoph Ratzke (google scholar)
PhD  Biophysics, Technical University Munich (2013)
Office:  NE46-633
cratzke at

Christoph did his doctorate studying the dynamics of enzyme complexes with multicolor single molecule FRET. Now he is investigating how interactions between organisms or between species can lead to spatial patterns (Ratzke et al, Nature Microbiology (2016)). He is also probing the role of pH modifications in structuring microbial communities (Ratzke & Gore, bioRxiv).
Alfonso Perez Escudero (google scholar)
HFSP Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD Physics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2014)
Office: NE46-625

Alfonso's doctoral research concerned collective behavior and optimality priniciples in a variety of biological systems, from the neuro-anatomy of the worm C. elegans to schooling of fish. In the Gore lab he is interested in evolutionary game theory in humans as well as microbes. 
Tommaso Biancalani (google scholar)
PhD Physics
Office:  NE46-631
tommasob at

Tommaso was trained as a theorist but has recently decided to join our group to learn how to combine experiment and theory. He is exploring the determinants of mortality induced by a pathogen, using C. elegans microbial gut infections as a model.
Shreyas Gokhale (google scholar)
​HFSP Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD Physics, IISc (2015) 
​Office: NE46-629
gokhales at

Shreyas was trained as a soft-matter experimentalist but has recently joined our group to do experiments with microbial communities. He is interested in spatially extended populations, synchronization of oscillations, and the role of migration in population collapse.  
Clare Abreu 
Physics Graduate Student (2014 start)
BS English, Pomona College, MS Physics 
cabreu at
Office: NE46-610

Clare started as a theoretical condensed matter physicist but has recently decided to become an experimental biophysicist. In the Gore Lab she is exploring the structure of multi-species ecosystems under stress. She has demonstrated that increased mortality changes the structure of communities in predictable ways.
Daniel Amor (google scholar)
PhD Physics
Office:  NE46-606

Dani is exploring how perturbations can induce transitions between alternative stable states in multi-species microbial communities. In addition to environmental perturbations driving transitions, he has also found that "transient invaders" can drive a transition to an alternative state despite being unable to survive in that final state.