Joyce group

Dr Susan Joyce

Dr Susan Joyce

About the Bile Research group

Our research focuses on microbial bile acid modification systems and the resulting impact on host signaling to influence host health and disease status.

Bile acids are gastrointestinal (GI) emulsifying molecules that present lipids for digestion and in doing so liberate vitamins D,E,K, and A. These molecules maintain microbial populations in check due to their chemical nature, their signatures and their spatial distribution in the GI tract. In turn, the complexity and diversity of gastrointestinal bile acids are dictated by microbial enzyme modification and bile acids are now recognised as important signaling molecules in the host. The microbe generated bile acid complexity can influence host processes (either locally or systemically) by interaction with cellular receptors -including FXR, TGR5, VDR, LXR, PPAR and SIP2- to impact on host metabolic processes such as circadian rhythm, lipid metabolism, energy metabolism, immune and intestinal homeostasis. Therefore, bile acid complexity and alterations to complexity can have an impact upon host health. In agreement, alterations to the gut microbiota that influence bile acid metabolism are correlated with a number of disease states and these include obesity, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), colorectal cancer (CRC) and non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD). We are interested in characterizing bile salt and bile acid altering enzymes, their impact/s on the gut microbiota, their effects on host signaling and how these may be utilized to intervene in the disease state.

The methodologies that we employ include: microbial population analysis, strain isolation, molecular microbiology, gene expression analysis (RNA and protein), metabolite analysis (targeted and untargeted), cell line culture, biochemical assays.

People in the Metabolism group

Current Lab members

PhD Students

Peter Cronin (with UoL)

Christina Killian BSc

Gonzalo Saiz BSc

Ms Karina Quilter BSc

Katie Wall BSc

Qiao Xiao (with SoM)

MSc Students

Padraig O'Brien

Prosper Ogbonnaya

Research Assistants

Mr Darragh Mattimoe

Post Doctoral Researchers

Dr Sourav Roy Choudhuy

Dr Karim Hayoun

Dr Eileen Ryan


Past Lab members

Post Doctoral Researchers

Dr Nataliya Blatt

Dr Karen Dunn

Dr Kalaimathi Govindarajan

Dr Anirudh Jaisimha

Dr Sarah L. Long

Dr Lekha Manon Montgassery

Dr James Nolan

Dr Maria Nunez

Dr Ahmed Salahuddin Kabir

Dr Ewa Wielogorska

Dr John Williams

Research Assistants

Ms Ceili Cowan

Ms Catherine Easom

Ms Julia Eckenberger

Ms Lea Lango

Mr Alvaro Lopez Gallardo

Ms Elaine O'Shea

MSc Students

Stephen Butler

Ashling Clifford

Sarah Conroy

Sinead Gifford

Sampritka Manna

Aine McCarthy

Neasa McCarthy

Maurice Stanley

PhD Students

Catherine Easom

Elaine Enright B. Pharm

Jonathan Keane MSc

Jinchi Jiang (visiting student)

Hilton McSweeney

Keith O’ Donoghue BSc

Ciara O’ Donovan (with Teagasc Moore Park)

Selected Publications

Pereira-Fantini, P.M., Bines, J.E., Lapthorne, S., Fouhy, F., Scurr, M., Cotter, P.D., Gahan, C.G. and Joyce, S.A. 2016. Short bowel syndrome (SBS)-associated alterations within the gut-liver axis evolve early and persist long-term in the piglet model of short bowel syndrome. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. doi: 10.1111/jgh.13383.

Pereira-Fantini, P.M., Lapthorne, S., Joyce, S.A., Dellios, N.L., Wilson, G., Fouhy, F., Thomas, S.L., Scurr, M., Hill, C., Gahan, C.G., Cotter, P.D., Fuller, P.J., Hardikar, W. and Bines, J.E. 2014. Altered FXR signalling is associated with bile acid dysmetabolism in short bowel syndrome-associated liver disease. J Hepatol 61, 1115-1125. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2014.06.025.

Joyce, S.A., MacSharry, J., Casey, P.G., Kinsella, M., Murphy, E.F., Shanahan, F., Hill, C. and Gahan, C.G. 2014. Regulation of host weight gain and lipid metabolism by bacterial bile acid modification in the gut. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111, 7421-7426. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1323599111.

Joyce, S.A., Brachmann, A.O., Glazer, I., Lango, L., Schwar, G., Clarke, D.J. and Bode, H.B. 2008. Bacterial biosynthesis of a multipotent stilbene. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 47, 1942-1945. doi: 10.1002/anie.200705148.

Joyce, S.A. and Clarke, D.J. 2003. A hexA homologue from Photorhabdus regulates pathogenicity, symbiosis and phenotypic variation. Mol Microbiol 47, 1445-1457.

School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Scoil na Bithcheimice agus na Cillbhitheolaíochta

University College Cork, Western Road, Cork.