Dr Sylvia Duncan
Senior Research Fellow
The Microbiology group have isolated and characterised many of the most abundant bacterial species that inhabit the human large intestine. A panel of the most interesting strains have also been genome sequenced. Mining these genomes has led to a good understanding of the roles of these mostly anaerobic bacteria in the human colon including their primary metabolic function, such as the formation of short chain fatty acids.
Amanda Morris – Research Assistant
Galiana Lo - PhD student
Dr Indrani Mukhopadhya – Research Fellow
Nutrition and Health
My current research is focussed on the impact of dietary macronutrients, including protein and carbohydrate content, on modulating the composition of the gut microbiota and metabolic outputs to improve health and prevent disease. The impact of gut environmental factors, including pH and bile salt levels, on modulating the gut microbiota and metabolism are also being studied using in vitro model colonic fermentor systems. We are also interested in bacterial cross feeding of dietary macronutrients by specialist bacterial species. We are also interested lactic acid utilising bacterial species as this is a product that is usually low in healthy colons but can accumulate to high levels in disease states such as inflammatory bowel disease. Further studies are also underway on host-microbe interactions.
More recently, the formation of secondary metabolites, such as polyketides and non-ribosomally synthesised peptides, by gut anaerobes are being studied through genome mining strains, testing their ability to inhibit pathogens and identifying the structure of these peptides as these are potentially pharmaceutically important compounds that may possess anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties.
Course Coordinator MC4014
Contribute lectures and tutorials to Nutrition courses
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High throughput method development and optimised production of leaf protein concentrates with potential to support the agri-industryJournal of Food Measurement and Characterization, vol. 16, pp. 49–65Contributions to Journals: Articles
Impact of changes at the Candida albicans cell surface upon immunogenicity and colonisation in the gastrointestinal tractThe Cell Surface, vol. 8, 100084Contributions to Journals: Articles
Human gut bifidobacteria inhibit the growth of the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicansFEMS Microbiology Ecology, vol. 98, no. 10, fiac095Contributions to Journals: Articles
Survival strategies and metabolic interactions between Ruminococcus gauvreauii and Ruminococcoides bili, isolated from human bileMicrobiology spectrum, e0277621Contributions to Journals: Articles
Microbial lactate utilisation and the stability of the gut microbiomeGut MicrobiomeContributions to Journals: Articles
Higher total faecal short chain fatty concentrations correlate with increasing proportions of butyrate and decreasing proportions of branched chain fatty acids across multiple human studiesGut Microbiome, vol. 3, e2Contributions to Journals: Articles
Distribution, organization and expression of genes concerned with anaerobic lactate utilization in human intestinal bacteriaMicrobial GenomicsContributions to Journals: Articles
Consumption of a Recommended Serving of Wheat Bran Cereals Significantly Increases Human Faecal Butyrate Levels in Healthy Volunteers and Reduces Markers of InflammationRecent Progress in Nutrition, vol. 1, no. 4Contributions to Journals: Articles
Dietary fibre complexity and its influence on functional groups of the human gut microbiotaProceedings of the Nutrition Society, vol. 80, no. 4, pp. 386–397Contributions to Journals: Articles
Description of Ruminococcoides bili gen. nov., sp. nov., a bile resistant bacterium from human bile with autolytic behavior.International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, vol. 71, no. 8Contributions to Journals: Articles