Microbial metabolism in the human gut microbiome influences inflammation
I study how the human gut microbiome influences human health and inflammation. My specific focus is on how bacteria in the gut break down the food we eat into metabolites that can interact with their hosts. I use a variety of approaches, both in vivo and in vitro, to examine how individuals, their microbes, and their diets interact to influence local and systemic inflammatory responses. I have developed multiple in vitro assays to enable the high-throughput analysis of both the metabolic response to different nutritional environments and changes in community composition across large numbers of complex communities derived from human stool. I have also designed and implemented a 50-person triple cross-over in vivo study of metabolic responses to dietary fiber interventions in healthy people, and use an in vivo model of GI inflammatory disease to examine the impact of microbiome metabolism on healthy and inflamed tissues.