Exploring the Diversity and Genetic Traits of the Beneficial Microbiota Genus Bifidobacterium

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office

Abstract

Within our gut we harbour a diverse collection of microbes (termed the microbiota) that are fundamental for our health. One of the dominant microbiota groups found during the first stages of life is Bifidobacterium, and presence of this genus in the gut has been linked to improved host immune defences. Due to their associated health benefits, there is significant need to explore the diversity of the bifidobacterial population at a global genetic level, determine the evolutionary scenario and also explore the influence of various genetic factors within the context of healthy host development. The goal of this PhD studentship is to study and understand bifidobacterial function through a mixture of `dry' (bioinformatics) and `wet' (lab-based) approaches using analysis of several hundred whole bifidobacterial genomes to uncover the genetic diversity of the genus, infer phylogenetic relationships and allow identification of potential health promoting genetic traits.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1786430 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2020 Magdalena Kujawska
 
Description Microbiology Society Annual Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I presented a poster at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2018, which led to interesting discussion with scientists with similar research interests, and helped to expand my professional network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Norwich Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Hall Lab debuted the 'Me and my microbiome' giant gut game prototype to demonstrate how the microbes in our digestive system help to keep us healthy at the Norwich Science Festival in 2017. This event is attended by thousands people every year, including members of the general public, scientists associated wit the Norwich Research Park and media. In 2018 we replaced the prototype with a walk-in interactive installation designed with the same purpose - to raise awareness about beneficial properties of members of our microbiota among the general public.
https://halllab.co.uk/public-engagement/guardians-of-the-gut/
https://quadram.ac.uk/guardians-of-the-gut-creation/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018
 
Description Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The Hall Lab debuted the 'Me and my microbiome' giant gut game prototype to demonstrate how the microbes in our digestive system help to keep us healthy at the Norwich Science Festival in 2017. This event is attended by thousands people every year, including members of the general public, scientists associated wit the Norwich Research Park and media. In 2018 we replaced the prototype with a walk-in interactive installation designed with the same purpose - to raise awareness about beneficial properties of members of our microbiota among the general public.
https://halllab.co.uk/public-engagement/guardians-of-the-gut/
https://quadram.ac.uk/guardians-of-the-gut-creation/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018