Caroline Le Roy

I have just completed a PhD focusing on the impact of infection and antibiotic treatment on birds’ systemic metabolism and gut microbiota (GM) population under the supervision of Dr Sandrine Claus, Prof Martin Woodward (University of Reading) and Prof Roberto La Ragione (University of Surrey).

I am fascinated by the impact that the gut microbiota can have on host health. This interest started during an internship at the university of Reading where I studied the impact of a prebiotic on human GM and it’s metabolism in vitro and in vivo. Due to my interest for this topic I undertook a second work placement in the same department for my master’s dissertation that was looking at the impact of flavonoids and glucosinolats extracted from plants on GM modulation. I then investigated if the modification of the GM by these compounds could protect the host against intestinal cancer development. From there I became extremely interested by the influence that the gut microbiota composition and activity can have on metabolism in relation to diseases development and prevention and therefore started a PhD with Dr Sandrine Claus.

My PhD project was divided into the three following missions:

  1. Understanding Brachyspira pilosicoli metabolism and evaluate how this one can be altered post antibiotic treatment.
  2. Evaluating the metabolic response of the host to infection and antibiotic treatment in vitro. HT-29 3D cell model and in vitro organ culture were used to evaluate treatment efficiency on infection. Cells and tissues were analysed using metabonomics to evaluate the impact of infection and treatment on host metabolism.
  3. Assessing the metabolic response and gut microbiota modification of the host in vivo to Brachispira pilosicoli infection and treatment by tiamulin. An animal trial was run to evaluate the impact B. pilosicoli infection and tiamulin treatment on birds’ health. Tissues, biofluids and gut contents were samples for metabonomics analysis. Gut microbiota population was assessed using 16S next generation sequencing and data were coupled to metabonomics results.

Furthermore I have a special interest for the role that Lactobacillus can have on health and metabolism and therefore developed several side projects in order to understand these interactions.

Passionate about this topic I took part to several scientific events aiming at communicating the importance of the role played by our GM on our health statue, such as: the BBSRC 25th anniversary (web team, and participation to the event) and the University week at the London Natural History museum. Likewise, I teach metabonomics to numerous BSc, MSc and PhD students.

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