Dr. David Relman is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University, and the Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in California. He was an early pioneer in the modern study of the human microbiota. Most recently, his work has focused on human microbial community assembly, and community stability and resilience in the face of disturbance. Previous work included the development of molecular methods for identifying novel microbial pathogens, and the subsequent identification of several historically important microbial disease agents. One paper was selected as “one of the 50 most important publications of the past century” by the ASM.