Characterization of microbiota composition in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease

Research area

 |  microbiota, microbiome


 |  microbiota, microbiome, paediatric, inflammatory bowel disease, microbiology, IBD, UC, ulcerative colitis


 |  PhD/Doctorate, Honours, Masters

Project description

The gastrointestinal microbiota, mediated by complex interactions between the patient’s immune system and environment, is now associated with diseases as diverse as infections, inflammatory bowel diseases and cancers. Paediatric Inflammatory bowel disease (PIBD) is a chronic incurable condition, affecting children and teenagers, that is increasing in incidence. Changes in the microbiota reflect the development of IBD and are a potential target for therapy or even cure.

This project combines expertise in the culturing and phenotypic analysis of the human gastrointestinal microbiota (Nature, 2016; Nature Biotech, 2019) to discover and characterize the bacterial community present in PIBD. These insights will lead to identification of novel biomarkers and predict potential clinical interventions for further experimental validation and therapeutic validation. The project represents a close collaboration between clinical and experimental elements with sample collection (ethics already established), world-leading in-vitro culturing, bacterial whole genome sequencing, phylogenetic analysis and metagenomic sequencing.

Students interested in experimental or computational biology are welcome to take the opportunity to develop skills in both areas. The Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases is a world leader in infection and inflammation with a strong record of student training and development.

Please feel free to contact Dr Sam Forster ( or Dr Ed Giles ( for further information.