Video and artwork by Leah Bury

The Devlin lab at Harvard Medical School uses strategies from chemical biology to study the human microbiome. Our goal is to control the chemistry of human-associated bacteria in order to understand how the microbiome affects human health and disease. The lab leverages expertise from different fields, including synthetic organic chemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, analytical chemistry, and bioinformatics. Learn about our research.

The Devlin lab would be a good fit for students and post-docs with either (1) an organic or analytical chemistry background interested in using chemistry to study biological problems or (2) a microbiology, biochemistry, or cell biology background interested in studying the human microbiome. If you are interested, get in touch.

Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

In the Devlin lab, we strive to create an environment that values diversity, promotes an inclusive culture, and establishes a sense of belonging for each member of our group, both in lab and as part of the broader Harvard community. Collaboration, open communication, and trust are the cornerstones of our group. We welcome and support anyone regardless of race, disability, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, financial background, or religion.

Recent Updates: 

  • May 2024: Our paper “Gut bacteria convert glucocorticoids into progestins in the presence of hydrogen gas” with Megan McCurry, Gabriel D’Agostino, Jasmine Walsh, and other co-authors appeared in Cell. Check out the HMS News and Research article for a quick summary!
  • May 2024: Congratulations to Dr. Wei Li who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis!
  • April 2024: We are excited to welcome Maribel Okiye to the lab!
  • January 2024: We are excited to welcome BSPH graduate student Cecilia Kim to the lab!
  • December 2023: We said goodbye to Fei Ye, so is starting as a Research Scientist at Origin Materials in Sacramento, CA!
  • August 2023: We said goodbye to Snehal Chaudhari, who is starting her own lab as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison!
  • May 2023: Congratulations to Dr. Megan McCurry who successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis!
  • August 2022: Our paper “Inhibition of microbial deconjugation of micellar bile acids protects against intestinal permeability and liver injury” with Snehal Chaudhari, Ari Adhikari, and other co-authors appeared in Science Advances. Check out the HMS Instagram post for a quick summary!
  • August 2022: Our paper “A biosynthetic pathway for the selective sulfonation of steroidal metabolites by human gut bacteria” with Lina Yao, Gabriel D’Agostino, Ari Adhikari, Wei Li, and other co-authors appeared in Nature Microbiology.
  • June 2022: We are excited to welcome Liz Jones to the lab!
  • January 2022: We are excited to welcome Fei Ye to the lab!
  • October 2021: Our review paper “Chains of evidence from correlations to causal molecules in microbiome-linked diseases” with Snehal Chaudhari and Megan McCurry appeared in Nature Chemical Biology, and it was featured on the cover!
  • September 2021: We are excited to welcome Melissa Tran to the lab!
  • July 2021: We said goodbye to Lina, who is starting a new position at Genentech.
  • June 2021: We are excited to welcome Jasmine Walsh to the lab!
  • April 2021: We said goodbye to Ari, who is starting a new position at Senda Biosciences!
  • February 2021: Sloan has received an Alfred P. Sloan research fellowship in chemistry – congrats to the whole lab on this accomplishment!
  • March 2020: We are excited to welcome Gabriel D’Agostino to the lab!

The Devlin lab is on Twitter!
Check us out here.

Posts from @DevlinLab

We’re very excited to share that our paper on the 21-dehydroxylation of steroids is online in @CellCellPress today! Read how flatulence drives bacterial production of allopregnanolone, an FDA-approved drug for postpartum depression.

Full-text here:

We are super excited that our review on the sulfated metabolome is online in @nchembio today! Led by Gabriel and Snehal in the lab. Check it out!

Please share! The Devlin lab is looking for postdoc fellows. Candidates with experience in either 1) tissue culture & cell-based assay development or 2) analytical chemistry, biochem, or organic chem. are encouraged to visit our lab website & email Prof. Devlin directly. (1/2)

Snehal initiated the collaboration between @DevlinLab and @BWHSurgMetab , organized my interview two years ago, and has been an excellent collaborator for the past two years. Best wishes on her new journey!

Earlier this week we said ~see you later~ to one of the OG Devlin lab postdocs, Snehal Chaudhari, as she embarks on her journey as an Assistant Professor at @UWBiochem! We are so proud of her but we’ll miss her big time 😭


On Monday July 24, the Keio University Human Biology-Microbiome-Quantum Research Center (WPI-Bio2Q) held its Gut Microbiome Seminar.
“Causal links between human gut bacterial metabolites and host functions”

Sloan Devlin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor,
Harvard Medical School, USA

Long overdue, but our first grad student @microbe_megan just defended her thesis in May!🤩 She also just gave an AMAZING talk at #bbm2023 @BostonBacteria on her thesis work. 🎉 What an exciting couple of months!


We’re at the #MITmicrobiome Symposium today! Two of us are presenting posters today: Gabriel (poster 14) and Megan @microbe_megan (poster 13). Come check them out!

Save the date! Sloan Devlin (@DevlinLab) at @harvardmed is #ASBMBDeuel’s Journal of Clinical Investigation (@jclinicalinvest) Lecturer. Register for the conference to attend her talk, “Bacterial modification of bile acids alters host physiology,” on 3/ 8:

🚨New Episode!🚨

Join us with Dr. Devlin of Harvard Medical School ( @DevlinLab) as we talk about the gut microbiome research in her lab.

Excited to be part of this ACS Chem Biol virtual event next Tuesday highlighting young #chembio investigators — registration is free! @FFriscourt @IfthihaMohideen @DevlinLab @HuangMia @WangXiaoLab @EllenSletten @Linlab_ZJU & Samira Musah & Kabirul Islam

Gut bacterial modifications characterized so far involve hydrolytic & reductive pathways. @DevlinLab & colleagues have discovered a mechanism by which gut bacteria sulfonate steroidal metabolites that can modulate immune cell trafficking @NatureMicrobiol

We’re excited to share our latest paper in @ScienceAdvances led by Snehal in our lab and Darrik Li in Raymond Chung’s lab @MGHLiverCenter! Check it out!

Today’s #shoutout to #womenInSTEM goes to Lina Yao @DevlinLab for her @NatureMicrobiol paper on a biosynthetic pathway for selective sulfonation of steroidal metabolites by human #gut #bacteria.

Two labs (@lizljohnson @DevlinLab) independently stumbling upon the same microbiome mediated cholesterol transformation at the same time. Congrats both labs!

OUT NOW👉Characterization of interactions of dietary cholesterol with the murine and human gut microbiome

By Elizabeth Johnson, Henry Le, Min-Ting Lee & colleagues @henrychembio @MinTingLee2 –
@lizljohnson @CornellCALS

Check out our latest paper in @NatureMicrobiol! Congrats to @LinaYYao and Gabriel and our collaborators in the Huh lab and @hutlab!

In our final installment of Science on Tap 2022, @microbe_megan will be sharing her research on steroid metabolism in gut microbiota. Join us this Thursday at 4pm, Higgins 310!

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