“We work on things where bacteria live and thrive in the absence of oxygen, and we try to understand what it is that they are respiring, and how it is they do it.”
Dianne Newman is a molecular microbiologist. She is known for having brought genetic approaches to bear on problems involving microbial metabolisms of environmental/geobiological interest. In her work, she iterates between mechanistic studies of cellular processes and analyses of the microenvironments in which these processes occur.
Newman received a BA in German studies (1993) from Stanford University and a PhD in environmental engineering from MIT. She conducted postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School before joining the faculty at Caltech in 2000. In 2007, Newman moved to MIT as the Wilson Professor of Biology and Geobiology, but returned to Caltech in 2010 where she now holds the position of Gordon M. Binder/Amgen Professor of Biology and Geobiology and directs the Center for Environmental Microbial Interactions. In 2016 Newman was the recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology and a MacArthur Fellowship. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.