Microbiologists have known for quite some time that we encounter microbes everywhere, all the time, and that often includes fecal microbes too. For 200 years, since germs were first associated with infectious diseases, we have all learned to fear and get rid of them. But it is until very recently that we begin to understand how important microbes are for our health, especially when we are children. As part of the International Microbiome Center at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, our lab is deciphering how humans begin their life in the company of trillions of microbes — how our early-life microbiome develop, and how these microbes help define important aspects of immune and metabolic development.
Our lab tackles these complex questions by combining next generation microbiome sequencing data with metabolic and immune studies in both humans and animal models of diseases, such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.