Understanding the microbiome has the potential to revolutionise medicine. However, this opportunity is limited by a lack of fundamental knowledge. The Microbiota and Systems Biology group is building this knowledge and translating breakthroughs into new patient treatments.


The gastrointestinal microbiota plays an essential, though poorly understood, role in many aspects of human biology. Emerging evidence suggests the bacterial community structure can impact diseases as diverse as autoimmune diseases, cancers, and infections. Despite this importance, many of the species of bacteria that inhabit this environment are yet to be grown in the laboratory, let alone genome sequenced or their interactions with the human body characterised.

Research within the Microbiota and Systems Biology laboratory applies genomics, computational and systems biology, microbiology, and immunology to develop an understanding of these bacteria, their genomes and reciprocal interactions with the human immune system that lead to disease or maintain health.

Using cutting edge bacterial culturing, genomics and host-transcriptomics, the Microbiota and Systems Biology lab’s research builds on a strong, fundamental understanding to develop new therapeutic options for many conditions and diseases.

Potential treatment options developed through this work range from methods of biomarker detection to guide therapy or control the spread of antimicrobial resistance within the healthcare system, through to identification of optimal bacterial communities, diets that support them and the development of conventional and live biotherapeutic based clinical interventions to improve human, animal and environmental health.

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Diseases we research

Areas of focus

  • Microbiome-based therapies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Microbiome therapies for early life disease
  • Antibiotic resistance in the microbiome
  • Dietary interventions to modify the microbiome
  • Understanding the structure and function of the microbiome
  • Phage in the microbiome

Student opportunities


Publication highlights

Our research group is keen to discuss funding opportunities

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