Our overarching goal is to understand how dysregulation of the bidirectional communication between the gut microbiome and the nervous system can affect behaviour and lead to mental health disorders.
The enteric nervous system, often called the second brain, regulates the activity of the guts. It helps our gut process food, sense what we eat, but can also affect the brain through the gut brain axis. Our guts also have their own bacteria, the microbiome, which can interact with ourselves, and us with it. When this communication goes awry, it leaves us in an unbalanced state, which can change our behaviour, and lead to mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression.
Our team uses a transparent fish to look at the activity of the enteric nervous system and to study how the neurons surrounding the gut interact with bacteria. The projects are interdisciplinary by nature, involving neuroscience, immunology, computational neuroscience and molecular biology. As such I am looking for a wide variety of skillsets and team players that can interact well with others.