Dr Sonia Fonseca


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Gut microbes in health and disease


My research has been mainly related to food microbiology, not only in terms of assessing food quality and safety but also studying the microbial ecology occurring in food products.

In 2013, I finished my PhD entitled “Effect of the addition of starter cultures on the physicochemical, microbiological and sensory properties of Galician Chorizo”, where I described the microbiota of a traditional meat product made under different manufacturing conditions.

In 2017, I was awarded a post-doctoral grant by Alfonso Martin Escudero Foundation to join the Gut Health and Food Safety Programme at the Institute of Food Research, where I have the opportunity to apply the experience I gathered in food microbiology to the field of human health.

My current research interests include the diet-gut-microbiome-brain axis, its importance in disease and how the production of potentially pathogenic and/or beneficial microbial metabolites can be altered through nutrition- and microbe-based interventions. I am also involved in a project which aims to evaluate the metabolic and pathological effects of high-fat diet on autophagy deficient mice.

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