I am interested in the dynamic interactions between the intestinal microbiota and human health, and the extent to which dietary factors may influence this equilibrium. My PhD thesis at the University of Calgary, Canada focused on the cellular mechanisms by which pathogenic and commensal Escherichia coli affect normal intestinal function, particularly chloride secretion. I further investigated the influence of diet and probiotic bacteria on colitis development and animal behaviour during a postdoctoral position at the University of Alberta, Canada.
Since joining Dr. Christian Jobin’s lab in 2014, I have focused on dietary black tea polyphenols and their role in health. In particular, I am investigating the microbial metabolism of black tea catechins and how this biotransformation affects the development of colitis and colorectal cancer in mouse models. Furthermore, using selective bacterial culture techniques and HPLC/ECD, I will determine which bacteria are responsible for the metabolism of black tea polyphenols and what metabolites are produced, potentially discovering novel therapeutic compounds.