Emma Allen-Vercoe

Email Address
[email protected]
Research Areas
Research Keywords
Research Description

Work in the Allen-Vercoe lab is focused on the human gut microbiome and the microbial interplay within this ecosystem as well as with the human host. Understanding how microbes work together to form communities in the gut, and how these communities might influence our health is our primary research goal.

Research Summary

We currently have several projects in various areas that explore aspects of the gut microbiome and beyond:
1) Understanding how gut microbes are involved in the modulation of disease in colorectal cancer, diabetes, infection, and inflammatory bowel diseases
2) Isolation and characterisation of hunter-gatherer people's gut microbiome in an effort to discover novel microbial species and understand their function
3) Characterisation of the non-bacterial microbes of the human microbiome and their functions
4) Building model systems to study human gut microbes in vitro and in vivo
5) The study of 'oncomicrobes' (in particular, Fusobacterium nucleatum), and the development of colorectal cancer.
6) Translation to the clinic - development of 'microbial ecosystem therapeutics'

Techniques Used

Anaerobic culture, including ecosystem fermentation; ecosystem modeling using phylogenomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics and metabonomics and culturomics; bacterial comparative genomics; novel species descriptions and bacterial systematics; bacteriophage isolation and characterisation; particular expertise with isolation and characterisation of Bdellovibrio and like organisms, Fusobacterium spp, Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae family spp.; electron and fluorescence microscopy; 1D-1H NMR; flow cytometry and cell sorting.

Lab Equipment

Anaerobic chambers, Multifors bioreactor platforms, fluorescence plate readers, molecular biology equipment (including thermocyclers, DNA extraction robot) tissue culture apparatus (incubators, hoods, inverted microscope, CellscopeZ transepithelial resistance measurement tool); light microscope; lyophilizer; G-Box imager, electroporation apparatus, SDS-PAGE and Western blotting apparatus; spectrophotometer.

Locations of international collaborators

USA (UCSF, UCSD, Harvard University, Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, Broad Institute, U Oklahoma, NIST, NIH, Virginia Tech); UK (University of Oxford, University of Leeds); Spain (Vall d'Hebron Hospital); the Netherlands (Utrecht University, Wageningen University); Germany (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research ); New Zealand (University of Otago); Australia (University of New South Wales).

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