Having studied science in University College Cork, home of APC Microbiome Ireland, I was surrounded by many of the world’s leading microbiome researchers. Learning from these researchers has really allowed me to appreciate the role that the microbiome has in health and disease. My studies there focused on how many bacteria in the microbiome can produce compounds which allow these cells to shape and control the environment around them. This helped me appreciate how even small changes in the composition of the microbiome can be influential in the overall health of the host. Coming from these studies I wanted to work in a microbiome company that is science led and here in Alimentary Health we put our strains through human clinical trials. For example, our recent brain imaging trial with the 1714® Bifidobacterium longum strain showing the strain activates brain coping centres is the kind of science I’m excited about.