Abigail Sloan Devlin (called Sloan) is currently an Assistant Professor in the department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School.
She received her A.B. degree from Harvard College in 2006, where she conducted research in organic chemistry in the laboratory of Andrew Myers. She was a member of the varsity sailing team and was co-captain and skipper when the team won the 2005 women’s national championship. She earned her Ph.D. in chemistry in 2012 from Stanford University under the direction of Professor Justin Du Bois. Her graduate work focused on the total synthesis of the potent voltage-gated sodium ion channel agonist batrachotoxin as well as the development of novel rhodium-catalyzed C–H insertion methodology. In 2012, Sloan joined the lab of Professor Michael Fischbach at the University of California, San Francisco as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research in the Fischbach lab involved elucidating biosynthetic pathways and biological activities for small molecules produced by human-associated bacteria. She also engineered commensal strains to have novel, beneficial functions as a first step toward using bacteria as cell therapies to treat human disease.
Sloan joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School as an assistant professor in Fall 2016. The goal of the Devlin lab is to understand and control the chemistry of human-associated bacteria in the context of health and disease. The lab is prioritizing the study of metabolites and the design of chemical probes that illuminate the molecular mechanisms by which the bacterial guests communicate with and affect their human host. Since launching her research group at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Devlin has received a Karin Grunebaum Cancer Research Foundation Faculty Fellowship, an NIH R35 MIRA (Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award) for Early Stage Investigators, and a John and Virginia Kaneb Fellowship.