I fell in love with the microbiome research while doing my PhD. My research focused on the effect of secondary metabolites in colorectal cancer and quickly discovered the importance of the individual microbiome responding to different nutritional interventions and treatments. I got a EU funded Marie Curie individual fellowship to investigate the effect of secondary metabolites in gut development in early life. The presence of microorganisms in the gut during the early stages of life is a critical event in the normal development of the gastrointestinal tract. Imbalances in the microbiota in early life have been linked to the development of long-term disorders (including asthma, atopic disease, and necrotising enterocolitis). Given the huge cost of treating these diseases, the preliminary results from my research as part of my Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual fellowship could have major implications for public health strategies because correcting imbalances in early development of the microbiota (through bacterial or biochemical interventions) could provide new modalities to treat or prevent a range of disorders.
I have been also selected to attend the 70th Lindau Nobel Laurate Interdisciplinary Meeting where once every 5 years, around 30-40 Nobel Laureates convene in Lindau to meet the next generation of leading scientists from all over the world. As part of this, I had the opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary 48 hour Sciathon to collaborate on a Citizen Science project related to neglected diseases with 8 emerging scientists and economists from around the world. Currently, I am working in the Centre for Research in Vascular Biology at the APC Microbiome Ireland where I investigate the effect of diet on metabolic syndrome.