The Top Five Blogs of 2022

30th December 2022

Our regular Quadram Institute blog features explainers about our research into food, microbiology and gut health, stories of how our science happens and reflections from our staff and students.

An image composed of three images; pulses, the microbiome and broccoli.

As 2022 draws to a close, we thought we’d look back at the blogs we’ve published throughout the year, sharing our top five blogs, by webpage views, along with looking back on some other blog highlights too.

The top five blogs cover inquisitive questions about our research along with two blogs about our researchers’ work studying the complex and debilitating condition ME, which gains increasing attention with interest in overlaps with long covid.

So let’s find out what they are.

Why are pulses good for your health?

Our top blog captures the curiosity of the pulse of the nation. It covers the beneficial impact pulses have on our health including how they are a sustainable source of nutrients, have an important role in gut health and how they may help control blood sugar levels too.

We learnt more about how our researchers are discovering more about the mechanisms behind why pulses are good for us and working to extend the power of pulses in our diet, including into our daily bread.

Plus, the blog offers top tips for how you can increase pulses into your diet to benefit your health.

Highs and lows of PhD in ME research

In 2022, we celebrated many of our students completing their PhDs. One of those was Dr Katharine Seton whose project was funded by the charity Invest ME.

Katharine, who was diagnosed with ME in 2019, explains more about her PhD research project into the autoimmune aspects of ME/CFS, covering both the highs and lows of doing a PhD.

Katharine continues her innovative research into ME, having recently received a Ramsay Grant.

Studying how diets rich in broccoli could prevent prostate cancer

Another blog by one of our PhD students is from Gemma Beasy who talks about her Big C funded research studying how diets rich in broccoli could prevent prostate cancer progression and what inspired her journey into science.

Having grown up in Norfolk, Gemma highlights the hub of opportunities in life science on Norwich Research Park and the vibrant student community at the Quadram Institute.

How the gut microbiome affects the brain and the mind

This blog summarises the latest research into the fascinating link between the gut microbiota and the brain. It explains the evidence of the role of gut microbes in cognitive health and ageing, mental health and Parkinson’s disease.

Here at the Quadram Institute our researchers carry out world-leading scientific research to learn more about how the microbes living in our gut modulate brain health through life.

Prof Carding’s boots are made for walking

Our final blog of the top five is another blog about our research into ME, and how Group Leader Professor Simon Carding swapped a lab coat for walking boots to raise money for ME research, which part of his research covers.

Back in June Simon and his wife Jane walked the Irish Sea to the North Sea on the challenging 192-mile walk and raised more than £2,000 for the charity Invest in ME Research.

Other blog highlights

So that was the top five most viewed blogs of 2022, but that’s only five of a total 32 we published.

Along with those blogs featured in the top five, our talented students wrote many other fantastic blogs too. Back in January 2022, Manasik Gumah Adam Ali described her journey from Nanjing to Norwich.

Later in the year Kathrin Haider shared her insight and experience from an industry placement at Mondelez baking biscuits for research, and Anne Jordan explained the latest science into the emerging role of gut microbes in vaccine responses early in life in an explainer blog.

Together our PhD students worked collectively on a blog about our vibrant student community and the key role of the Quadram Student Forum. Towards the end of the year Gabriel Astroga highlighted the importance of local and national LGBTQ+ STEM events.

It’s not just our PhD students who penned blogs about their research and careers. We learnt more about the role and career path of our Statistician Dr George Savva and how a project on honey sparked a career-long interest in antimicrobial resistance for Dr Muhammed Yasir.

Dr Marina Corrado talked about research sparked by a question from a public engagement event, and one many of us will have asked ourselves (or Googled) in our kitchens – what is the best way to store bread?

Staying in the kitchen, researchers from the Mather group also explained how their new method is helping us learn what microbes are living in our food. Earlier in the year, Dr Federico Bernuzzi explained the important role of plant bioactives in our diet.

Community is crucial to science. Along with finding out more about our student community, we heard from Dr Andrew Page about hackathons in the microbial bioinformatics community and Dr Melissa Antoniou-Kourounioti about the cycling community across the Norwich Research Park.

It’s important to connect with those outside the research community too. At the Quadram Institute we regularly interact with policymakers and back in the summer a group of researchers reflected on their experience bringing physiological research to Parliament.

There’s many other fantastic blogs we’ve published in 2022 from our staff and students, and we thank everyone for their contributions.

If you’re a researcher and still in any doubt about the usefulness of blogs, check out Dr Nabil-Fareed Alikhan’s blog on value of having an online presence as a researcher.

If you’re not a researcher and would like us to answer a question you have about food, microbes or gut health in our blog health let us know on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.

Related Targets

Targeting cancer


Targeting Future Foods

Future Foods

Targeting personalised nutrition

Personalised Nutrition

Targeting ME/CFS

ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Targeting the understanding of the microbiome

Understanding the Microbiome

Targeting food composition

Food Composition

Related Research Areas