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Harriët Schellekens


Dr. Harriët Schellekens investigates the impact of diet & nutrition and the gut microbiome on human health and physiology, in particular metabolic health, host eating behavior and stress-related disorders throughout life. She has a specific interest in the exploration of the gut microbiota as a mediator of gut-brain signaling underlying the complex relationship between food, mood and stress. She uses mechanistic and translational studies bridging basic and clinical aspects of neuroscience and nutrition to investigate the concept of the link between metabolic disease and mental health, and the potential amelioration of both via microbiome targeted approaches.

Her laboratory uses in vitro, and ex vivo approaches to elucidate the mechanism of the bi-directional communication between brain and gut microbiota, including immune-neuroendocrine pathways, gut-brain axis receptors, and signaling via microbiota-derived metabolites. She has a specific interest in the interaction of the gut microbiota with G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), neuropeptides and gut hormones across the gut-brain axis regulating eating behavior, food reward-motivated behaviour, anxiety and depression.

UCC: UCC Research Profiles: Harriet Schellekens, BioSciences Institute 


Twitter: @harschellekens

Research Interests

Theme:Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis Theme

SDGs: 2. Zero Hunger; 3. Good Health & Wellbeing; 4. Quality education; 10. Reduced inequalities

Key words: Reward, Food intake behavior, GPCR, ghrelin, LEAP2, Microbiota


Google Scholar: ‪harriet schellekens - ‪Google Scholar

ORCID: Harriet Schellekens (0000-0002-6065-3797) (

Pubmed: harriet schellekens - Search Results - PubMed (



APC Microbiome Ireland, Biosciences Building, University College Cork, Ireland,