I am a Lecturer in Molecular and Cellular Bioscience in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. My main research interests are to understand how do gut microbes interact with each other and with the host, and the consequences of these interactions for host health.
- Gut microbiome
- Host-microbiota crosstalk
- Intestinal infection and colonisation resistance
- Drug-microbiome interactions
My lab is interested in understanding the function of the trillions of gut microbes that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract. We apply molecular biology, cultivation, genomics, and activity-based methods to investigate how are nutrients shared among microorganisms (pathogens and commensals) and how does nutrient availability shape the gut microbiome and more broadly, host health.
Another line of research focus on understanding the impact of non-antibiotic drugs on microbiome function and composition. The use of medication has been shown to have a major influence on gut microbiome composition. Large-scale screens revealed that a significant proportion of human-targeted drugs tested could inhibit the growth of bacterial strains in vitro. Using molecular biology techniques, ex vivo batch-culturing systems and new sequencing technologies and metabolomics we aim to understand the side effects of human targeted drugs on the microbiome.
We are also interested on the impact of small, host-secreted RNA molecules on microbiome composition and function. Changes in the levels of these molecules lead to shifts in gut microbiome composition and have been implicated in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
I have previously tutored the following Master´s practical courses:
-Molecular Microbiology, Microbial Ecology and Immunobiology, University of Vienna, Austria.
-Methodologies for the functional analysis of genes. Bacterial Development. MSc in Medical Microbiology, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal.
I have fully mentored or co-mentored various MSc and BSc students in molecular microbiology and microbial ecology projects.
External roles and responsibilities
2019-2022. Principal Investigator (Project grant). Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science, University of Vienna, Austria
2014-2019. Postdoc/Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow. Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science, University of Vienna, Austria.
2014. PhD in Biology, branch Molecular Biology. NOVA University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.
2006. BSc in Biological Engineering. Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.