Researcher biography

I joined the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute in December 2013 where I now play a key role as a project leader contributing to the Australian Human Gut Microbiome Project. My research is currently focused on three distinct research areas. First, in partnership with local clinicians and gastroenterologists I utilise both "next generation" sequencing and microarray methods to examine alterations to the mucosal and faecal gut microbiota of subjects with chronic gut diseases as part of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Second, these studies inform my efforts to recover key microbial species underpinning host health and disease and I apply genetic approaches to support our selective recovery of "new" gut bacteria, and accelerate our efforts to dissect and understand the functional attributes of the gut microbiota to health and disease. Third, I lead efforts to "Bioprospect" the gut microbiome and I work closely with geneticists and immunologists to identify microbes and their bioactive factors that are capable of modulating the host inflammatory response. Together, these efforts have provided new insights into the functional role of the gut microbiota in influencing human health and well-being.