We are interested in the interactions between the host and its microbiota in early life. We want to understand the role that the early life microbiota plays in regulating immune responses, during health and in diseases such as IBD, to help in the design of new therapies.
We are studying the impact of external factors, particularly diet and antibiotic use, on the early microbiota to learn more about their impact on health. Our work will guide clinical practice for the introduction of ‘probiotic’ supplementation in infants, design of new infant diets (personalised nutrition), and will also help us to reduce the problem of antimicrobial resistance.
We are also exploring the mechanisms behind colonisation resistance in relation to Bifidobacterium and enteric pathogens, with a view to designing novel microbiota therapies against pathogenic infections.
Our research includes clinical studies as well as working with pre-clinical models, including chemostat model colon systems. We use a variety of next generation sequencing techniques (16s, WGS, metagenomics, RNASeq) and bioinformatics alongside molecular microbiology to study the microbiota, and have expertise in immune response analysis (using flow cytometry, microscopy imaging).
As a group we are passionate about sharing our research and the science of the microbiota, through public engagement, talks and through the media.