Dr Emily Jones

Postdoctoral Researcher

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Gut microbes in health and disease

I am a Postdoctoral Research Scientist with expertise in many aspects of host-microbe interactions.

During my PhD studies within the Carding group at the Institute of Food Research, I developed an interest in host-pathogen interactions and studied the migration of Toxoplasma gondii through the mammalian GI-tract. Using in vitro intestinal epithelial cell models and high resolution imaging modalities, I showed that the epithelial tight junction protein occludin was fundamental to cell invasion and pathogen uptake.

My previous projects at QIB have included development of an intestinal organoid system to study proteomic and transcriptomic functional processes dependent on autophagy.

The objective of my current research is to understand the crosstalk between bacterial extracellular vesicles (BEVs) and the host, such as their uptake, trafficking and biodistribution throughout the body. For example, I recently developed a protocol to investigate blood BEV profile changes between healthy individuals and those with diseases of the GI-tract such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

I am also involved in a number of collaborative projects. As an example, we are currently developing an in vitro organ-on-chip system with the University of Hull and the University of Essex to develop new technologies and study BEV interactions with the gut-brain axis in neurodegenerative diseases.