Gut Health

The Institute of Food Research has a unique multidisciplinary programme of research that focuses on how the Gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and the microbial communities that it hosts, function and protect our health.

Lead scientist: Simon Carding

Visit the Gut Health and Food Safety website

The aim of this research is to develop the knowledge to produce intervention strategies that will lead to a reduction of GI disease and promote a healthy GI tract throughout life, leading to healthier ageing, improved public health and reduced pressure on health and social care.

The gut is an important physical, chemical and immunological barrier to pathogen invasion. How the host establishes and maintains an effective lifelong mucosal barrier and "learns" to tolerate the constant barrage of food-derived antigens and the presence of a complex community of microbes (the microbiota) while mounting effective responses to foodborne pathogens is a major unresolved question. 

IFR aims to provide fundamental insights into how the gut balances the complex microbial community it hosts, exactly how it functions as a barrier function, and how microbial tolerance is established and maintained throughout life. We will work with clinical researchers at the University of East Anglia and Imperial College, London, to develop these insights into effective new treatments to combat chronic diseases of the GI tract, such as inflammatory bowel disease.

Further information

More information regarding this area of IFR research can be found on the The Gut Health and Food Safety Programme website.

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