Tal Korem

Tal Korem


Assistant Professor, Department of Systems Biology


Department of Systems Biology
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Program for Mathematical Genomics

Tal Korem, PhD, is an assistant professor of systems biology and member of Columbia's Program for Mathematical Genomics (PMG). Dr. Korem, who joined the department in 2018, directs the Korem Lab, which conducts research aimed at facilitating the downstream development of microbiome-based therapeutics. They use machine learning, network inference and metabolic modelling to obtain a mechanistic understanding of host-microbiome interactions in clinically relevant settings. While the recognition of the microbiome’s importance in human health and disease is constantly growing, and multiple aberrant microbial states have been characterized, they remain poorly understood. In most cases we still do not know what drives, sustains, or modulates these states - let alone how to reverse them. Working at the intersection between computational biology and medicine, the Korem Lab both develops algorithms and computational methods that aim to understand microbial growth, activity, and metabolic production, as well as apply these methodologies as the basis for clinical inquiries in diverse settings, with a special focus on reproductive sciences. Dr. Korem also is a faculty member of Columbia's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

More News


Preterm Birth Linked to Chemicals Found in the Vagina
Chemicals that accumulate in the vagina, potentially originating from personal care products, may contribute to spontaneous preterm birth, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Systems Biology and Women's Health: A Q+A with Tal Korem, PhD
As a member of the Program for Mathematical Genomics, Tal Korem is bringing his interests in systems biology, quantitative research, and the human microbiome to areas of clinical relevance. For Dr. Korem, that clinical focus is women’s reproductive health. “There is still a lot we don’t understand that relates to women’s health, to fertility, and to birth outcomes, and how microbes play a role in all of this,” says Dr. Korem. In this Q+A, learn about Dr. Korem's ongoing research and his path to the field of systems biology and women's health.
Dr. Tal Korem Named an Early Career Global Scholar
Tal Korem, PhD, assistant professor of systems biology, has been named a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, a fellowship that supports leading early-career researchers in science and technology. As a global scholar, Dr. Korem joins CIFAR’s Humans and the Microbiome research program, where his work will focus on harnessing human microbial communities to identify and develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
Same Microbe, Different Effect
Our gut microbiome has been linked to everything from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and even neurological disorders and cancer. Researchers have been sorting through the multiple bacterial species that populate the microbiome, asking which of them can be implicated in specific disorders. But in a new study, co-led by Dr. Tal Korem and published in Nature, addressed a new question: "What if the same microbe is different in different people?" The study details a novel computational method that systematically identifies structural variants across human gut microbiomes, and could help scientists pinpoint the connections between our microbiome, health and disease.
Identifying High-Risk Factors of Pancreatic Cancer
Armed with a new two-year, $1 million grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Collective, a global team of researchers, led by Dr. Raul Rabadan, is working to develop a comprehensive computational framework that will identify high-risk factors for pancreatic cancer. The team will attack pancreatic cancer research from multiple disciplines—genomics, mathematics and medicine—to provide an integrated approach to studying the contributing factors to this lethal disease. The need for a deeper understanding of pancreatic cancer is pressing--it is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality within the next decade.