Mireya Cristina Vazquez-Prada
Project title: Dissecting microbiome effects on host ageing in Caenorhabditis elegans
Summary: It is now accepted that humans and other organisms are holobionts, engaged in a mutualistic relationship with their microbial ecosystem. Uncovering the interaction between the gut microbiome and host physiology is a significant field of research, but the tools necessary to progress beyond correlative evidence and perform unbiased, high-throughput studies are lacking. This PhD project aims to supplement existing models for microbiome research by developing the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans into a combined model system, colonising their intestinal networks with individual microbial taxa. The combined 'worm-bug' model will be used to directly investigate the relationship betweem microbiome constituents - specifically mocrobial genes, metabolites, and functional pathways identified through transcriptomic and metabolomic analaysis - on host ageing phenotypes, with a particular focus on the microbiome-gut-brain axis.