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Biomedical Sciences Research Seminar Series

Links between diet, the gut microbiota, and health

Atomic structure of a biological molecule
Seminars

As part of the School of Science and Technology Biomedical Sciences Research Centre Seminar Series, Alan Walker, University of Aberdeen presents: Links between diet, the gut microbiota, and health.

  • From: Wednesday 11 December 2019, 1.10 pm
  • To: Wednesday 11 December 2019, 2 pm
  • Location: ERD 282, Erasmus Darwin, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, NG11 8NS
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Event details

As part of the School of Science and Technology Biomedical Sciences Research Centre Seminar Series, Alan Walker, University of Aberdeen presents: Links between diet, the gut microbiota, and health.

Abstract

The human large intestine is home to an extremely abundant and diverse collection of microbes, which are collectively termed the intestinal microbiota. Our indigenous microbes play a number of key roles in the maintenance of host health, including aiding digestion of otherwise indigestible dietary compounds, immune system regulation, and protection against invading pathogens.

There is clear connectivity between diet, intestinal microbial communities and host health. The composition and activity of the intestinal microbiota appears to be heavily impacted by host diet, and it has become clear that many of potential risks and benefits to host health that are associated with particular diets may be at least partially mediated via the microbiota. As such, there is now accumulating interest in modulating the composition of the human intestinal microbiota via changes in diet to improve host health.

Controlled dietary intervention studies have demonstrated intestinal microbiota responses, but there is typically a large degree of inter-individual variation in the bacterial groups that respond to these dietary changes. As such, the response to any dietary intervention may be dependent to at least some extent on the original composition of a given individual’s microbiota. With this in mind, the gut microbiota is likely to be a key aspect of personalised nutrition.

Bio:

I am a microbiologist, with specific interests in the bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal tracts of mammalian hosts. After receiving a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology from the University of Aberdeen, I studied for my PhD at the Rowett Institute and at the University of Dundee, specialising in gut microbiology and the role that intestinal bacteria play in the breakdown of dietary fibre. Following my PhD I spent eight years doing postdoctoral research at the Wellcome Sanger Institute before moving to my current post as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen. My current research uses a combination of anaerobic culturing and DNA sequencing techniques to better characterise gut microbial communities and shed light on the roles these microbes play both in health and in disease.

Hosted by Dr Lesley Hoyles

All welcome.

For any enquiries please contact Dr Amanda Coutts

Location details

Room/Building:

ERD 282, Erasmus Darwin

Address:

Nottingham Trent University
Clifton Campus
Clifton Lane
Nottingham
NG11 8NS

Past event

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