Research

Our research focuses on the clinical application of nutritional sciences in healthy and diseased populations across the lifespan with an overarching goal of improving human health through dietary modulation of the gastrointestinal microbiome.

Through the use of state-of-the-art sequencing technologies and bioinformatics tools, we aim to understand the interplay of diet, the microbiome, and health and disease. Our long-term research goal is to bridge the gap in understanding of the impact of nutrition on the human gastrointestinal microbiome with an emphasis on targeted dietary interventions for disease treatment and prevention.

 

Active Studies:

SNACKing Study: A randomized control trial studying the effects of snacking on the gastrointestinal microbiota and metabolism in healthy adults. Interested in participating? Learn more here!

GAMEPLAN Study: A randomized control trial studying the relationship between diet, exercise, the gut microbiome, and health. Interested in participating? Learn more here!

NECTAR Study: A randomized control trial investigating the effects of yogurt and honey on digestive health and subjective mood in healthy adults. Interested in participating? Learn more here!

 

Completed Studies:

PATH (Persea americana for Total Health): A research project aimed to study the relationship between diet, gut function, metabolism, and thinking ability.

EPOCH (Effects of Probiotics on Cognition and Health):  A study of how the gut microbiota responds to probiotics and prebiotics and how these changes affect behavior, cognition, and stress.

Gut-Brain: Study aimed to investigate the interrelationship between cognitive function, metabolic health, and the human gastrointestinal microbiota.

STREAM (Study of Timing and Rhythms in Eating Affecting the Microbiome): A retrospective examination of eating behaviors such as eating frequency, overnight fast duration, and energy distribution throughout the day and their impact on the gastrointestinal microbiome.

Almond, Walnut, Whole Grain, and Broccoli Interventions- Randomized controlled trials assessing the impact of almonds, walnuts, whole grains, and broccoli on the fecal microbiota conducted in partnership with the USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center.

Formulating Intervention Trials for the GUT (FITGUT): A randomized crossover trial looking at the impact of physical activity on the gastrointestinal microbiota in previously sedentary individuals.

Fecal Microbiome Transplant Study: A multi-center longitudinal study investigating dietary predictors of fecal microbiota transplantation success in patients with Clostridium difficile infections conducted with Carle Hospital and OSF St. Francis Medical Center.

Moving Toward Individualized Medicine: Understanding Dietary Predictors of the Human Gastrointestinal Microbiome- An evaluation of the complex interactions between dietary components, gastrointestinal bacteria, and bacterial metabolites conducted in collaboration with the Illinois Applied Research Institute.

Mayo-Illinois Alliance Obesity Intervention: An intervention study investigating the effects of caloric restriction on the gastrointestinal microbiomes of overweight and obese adults.

Retrospectively Studying the Effects of Early Life Nutrient Intake on Cognitive Function and Brain Health in Preadolescent Children (RETLU): A retrospective study examining the effects of early-life feeding methods on preadolescent brain health and cognitive function.