Projects

We are currently advertising DTP and CASE studentships for October 2019 start. The deadline for applications is the 26th November 2018.

27 / 09 / 2018

Breaking bad: Do high-fat diets trigger commensal sulphite reducing gut bacteria to damage gut health? (NARBAD_Q19DTP1)

how to apply

We are what we eat. The food we consume shapes our gut microbiota, which in turn plays a key role in health and disease. Bilophila is a resident of the human gut microbiome and is a member of sulphite-reducing bacteria (SRB) that release the toxic molecule hydrogen sulphide (H2S) as a by-product. H2S has been linked to colonic disorders and gut inflammation. High-fat diets are becoming more prevalent. Meat based high-fat diets are enriched with specific amino acids and in animal studies they are shown to promote the growth of Bilophila. However, their impact in humans is not yet established. Intriguingly, our recent work on cultivation and diversity analyses revealed that Bilophila is a common member of the human gut microbiome. This raises the following questions: are they detrimental to us? Can we develop specific diets or other intervention strategies to control their population? This multidisciplinary project aims to understand the dynamics of Bilophila in the gut microbiome and its relationship to diet and gut health using in vitro colon models, tissue culture, metagenomics, and metabolomics. The student will use state-of-the-art ‘omics’ techniques and will join an interdisciplinary team that will support their training and development. They will design and test novel strategies to develop dietary interventions to understand the role of SRB in health and disease. The student will have the opportunity to collaborate with industrial partners and research groups in China and will have intellectual input to direct the project.