Congratulations to Gerald Tannock who has been awarded a James Cook Research Fellowship. Gerald's research is entitled: “A path to understanding bowel bacteria”.
The large bowels of humans contain trillions of bacterial cells belonging to hundreds of species that form self-regulating communities known as the microbiota. These collections of bacteria have the capacity to chemically transform digestion-resistant-carbohydrates and other polymers present in the digesta. The aim of the program is to develop ways to experiment with mixtures of bacteria that live in the human bowel. Physiological measurements of specific bacteria in pure and co-culture in laboratory microcosms will be made to determine the nutritional drivers of microbiota composition and function, especially with respect to the little studied bacterial family Lachnospiraceae. The basic science generated by this approach could be translated to technology (problem solving) with respect to the development of foods and prophylactic supplements that would contribute to sustaining life-long health. Also critical to translation of basic science to technology is the derivation and dissemination of an updated conceptual view of human bowel ecology. The proposed program thus encompasses laboratory research and science communication and has the overall aim of providing a path to understanding bowel bacteria.
The James Cook Research Fellowships are awarded to researchers who have the requisite qualifications and experience and are able to demonstrate that they have achieved national and international recognition in their area of scientific research.