Arianna I. Celis Luna is a postdoctoral researcher in the labs of Dr. David Relman (Infectious Disease/Microbiology) and KC Huang (Bioengineering). Her research focuses on characterizing how the human gut microbiome responds to changing concentrations of iron, an essential metal for both humans and bacteria. Iron deficiency affects ~10-40% of the population in the developing countries. The most common treatment is a long and burdensome course of iron supplementation, which does not restore health for ~10-20% of those treated. Arianna hopes that her research will help inform the relationship between certain gut microbiomes and human iron health. In addition, by establishing how iron deconstructs human gut microbial communities, she hopes to provide a tool for the engineering of synthetic in vitro communities.

Arianna is also an active member of the postdoctoral community and has held multiple positions on the leadership team of the Stanford University Postdoctoral Association, which include Co-chair, Advocacy Coordinator, and Events Coordinator.

Arianna received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Montana State University in 2018. She worked in the lab of Dr. Jennifer DuBois where her research focused on how, at the molecular level, bacteria build iron into the versatile molecule known as heme and break it apart again. Her work examined how these reactions are critical for both pathogenic species, such as Staphylococcus aureus, and the resident bacteria of the digestive tract.

Arianna’s work encompasses 6 published papers in journals like the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and ACS Biochemistry. She has presented her work in several conferences, including Gordon Research Conferences and the ASBMB Annual Meeting, and at Montana State University as part of the Kopriva Science Seminar Series after receiving the Kopriva Graduate Student Fellowship.

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Montana State University (2018)
  • Master of Science, University of California Los Angeles (2013)
  • Bachelor of Science, California State Univ, Bakersfield (2011)
  • Associate of Arts, Riverside City College (2009)

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