I have a background in gastroenterology and during my clinical training, I completed a PhD in the gut microbiome in ulcerative colitis, a subtype of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). On completion of clinical training, I was a clinical research fellow with Professor Fergus Shanahan, Professor Colin Hill and Professor Liam Fanning, studying the gut virome in IBD at APC Microbiome Ireland. Following training in Ireland, I was awarded a PRESTIGE post-doctoral fellowship in Paris with Professor Harry Sokol, a world-leading expert in the gut microbiome and IBD. My focus was on a range of bioinformatic and biostatistical approaches to characterising gut microbial communities and host-microbe interactions. I returned to UCC as a lecturer in the Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience in 2020 and researcher at APC Microbiome Ireland.
My research focuses on identifying the contribution of gut communities to the pathogenesis of inflammation and colorectal cancer in IBD. This combines metagenomics and metabolomics with modelling to identify population-level trends in patient cohorts and testing these in model systems. The current project will focus on editing the gut microbiome with targeted and broad-spectrum approaches and determining the effects on mucosal immunity.
Theme – Micobes to Molecules
SDG’s: SDG 3 – Good health and wellbeing
Key research words: Gut microbiome, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, colorectal cancer, colitis-associated cancer, bioinformatics, metagenomics, metabolomic