School of Life Sciences
 

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Fiona Whelan

Anne McLaren Fellow, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

BCS University of Waterloo (2010); MSc McMaster University (2012); PhD McMaster University (2017); Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Manchester (2018); Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow, University of Nottingham (2018-2020); Anne McLaren Research Fellow, University of Nottingham (2020-present).

Research Summary

The human microbiome - the microbes that live on and in our bodies - has been implicated in a myriad of diseases. However, because this field is still relatively new, we don't have the algorithms and… read more

Current Research

The human microbiome - the microbes that live on and in our bodies - has been implicated in a myriad of diseases. However, because this field is still relatively new, we don't have the algorithms and software to properly understand these communities. The focus of the lab is to develop, test, and use a new computational methodology to better understand the role of human microbiomes in disease.

The human microbiome generally consists of commensal organisms with beneficial behaviours (e.g. gastrointestinal digestion, immune maturation). However, dysbiosis of the human microbiota has been implicated in many diseases/disorders (IBD, IBS, obesity, cancers) with some evidence for a role in others (autism, depression). Often, dysbiosis is described as a difference in the overall community structure; however, to mitigate these diseases, we must understand the key microbial drivers.

Research interests in the lab include: 1) to identify associations between genetic elements (i.e. strains, operons, genes) that occur during dysbiosis; 2) to study ecological patterns in microbial communities; 3) to study the human microbiome in the context of microbial pangenomics.

The longterm goal of our research is to better understand the human microbiome such that we can better understand the diseases associated with these communities. We conduct this research in a lab that aims to be inclusive, diverse, and innovative.

Keywords: Human microbiome; metagenomic sequencing; pangenomics.

School of Life Sciences

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham NG7 2UH

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