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Marie-Claire Arrieta

My research interests lie in the role of the intestinal microbiota in human health and disease. The bulk of my research to date has been in how intestinal dysfunction may lead to disease in and outside of the gut. I am particularly interested in the metabolic aspects of the communication between the intestinal microbial networks, the gastrointestinal tissue and the immune system.

The gastrointestinal tract hosts an enormous population of microbes (microbiota) that provide its host with nutritional and immune advantages in exchange for a nutrient-rich habitat. There is a growing appreciation for how important this symbiotic relationship is to health, with reports of gut microbiota alterations (dysbiosis) associated to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), allergic diseases, enteric infection, cancer, obesity, diabetes and neurological disorders. Interestingly, it is the microbial alterations that occur very early in life that play the largest role in chronic disease development, yet the microbiota during this period of life has been understudied. In addition, the alterations reported in the majority the human microbiota studies to date have been in the taxonomic composition of the bacterial communities and although informative, there is still little known about the metabolic consequences of these compositional changes. How are bacterial communities impacting metabolic pathways in humans early in life? How does this lead to disease in different organs? The scientific community is at the very early stages on answering these complex but potentially far-reaching questions.

Recent Study Shows That Bacteria And Fungi In The Gut Of Babies Are Linked To Future Asthma Risk

What causes asthma? At a time when global rates of asthma have reached alarming rates, this important question remains unanswered. This debilitating disease affects approximately 339 million people globally, including 14% of all the children in the world. Even more […]