Affiliation: University of Guelph
Research interests: Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe has a background in microbial pathogenesis and molecular microbiology, and is a microbial ecologist researching the human gut microbiota. She believes that much is missed in modern medicine by considering only traditional (mostly simple) models of host-pathogen interactions; instead, she is trying to understand disease more holistically as a function of microbiota-host interactions. To understand the complex world of gut microbial ecosystems she has built an in vitro model system - the Robogut - to allow her to culture entire gut ecosystems in the lab, and to study the interactions of the component microbes with each other, and their environment. This work has led to a number of important developments in, for example, colorectal cancer and Clostridium difficile infection research. She is now turning her attention to determining how the gut microbiota of autistic patients functions in comparison to those of neurotypical controls.