Genomics, metagenomics and -omics approaches in general generate a lot of data. We needed a method to delineate genomic data relating to bacteria and we needed it to be fast, accurate and automated. We came up with specI which can group organisms into species clusters based on universal marker genes.

This review targets cardiometabolic diseases and how to profile them via advanced techniques such as NMR and metabolomics. Profiling of metabolic output is key here, and it seems to have opened up the relationship between gut microbes and general metabolic health. The paper was published in Gastroenterology.

This review covers the relationship between microbes and humans and their importance to human health. Fermentation is the key message here and it involves everything from carbohydrates through to proteins, phytochemicals and beyond. In particular, the 'gut-liver' axis is highlighted. This review was published in Current Opinion in Microbiology.

We conducted a study involving 50 obese or overweight individuals to determine if insulin resistance and inflammation markers can predict body weight changes after dietary intervention. We found that these markers, along with numbers of certain microbes in faecal samples, could predict response to the interventions we used at a rate of 75% accuracy. While this suggests other (unidentified) factors are probably involved, we are confident that the clusters we identified are relevant in terms of weight management in these patients. The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 30th October 2013.

We studied the effect of gastric bypass surgery, an efficient method to induce weight loss in morbid obesity, on gut microbiota and potential associations with gene expression in fat tissue. We found that gastric bypass surgery was associated with increases in microbial richness and that these changes were in turn associated with a variety of gene expression changes in fat tissue. The resulting publication appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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