Dr. Leadbetter’s research program at The California Institute of Technology focuses on interspecies microbial interactions and has had two distinct thrusts. One is the mutualistic symbiosis formed between termites and their diverse, beneficial gut microbiota specifically involving H2 and C1 lithotrophic metabolisms, and spirochetes. The other is the biodegradation of an important class of bacterial quorum signaling molecules, acyl-homoserine lactones. He has published in Nature, Science, Nature Biotechnology, The Journal of Bacteriology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, and Molecular Microbiology, among others. Leadbetter graduated with a BA with Honors in the Biological Sciences from Goucher College (Towson MD); and with a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Michigan State University (East Lansing MI), where he was a participant in the NSF Science and Technology Center for Microbial Ecology under the tutelage of John Breznak. He joined the Caltech faculty in the year 2000 after spending two years at The University of Iowa (Iowa City) in the laboratory of National Academician E. Peter Greenberg (now at UW-Seattle), where he was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biosciences Related to the Environment.