Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I am a Reader working in the field of Nutrition. I gained my degree in Food microbiology and my PhD in Food Science at the University of Naples, Italy. I afterwards spent 12 years at the University of Reading, at the Food and Nutritional Sciences Department, as a Senior Research Associate. I joined the Life Science Department at the University of Roehampton in August 2015.



  • PhD. Food Science, Microbiological Safety, Genetic Improvement of Farm Animal and Immunology, University of Naples, Veterinary, Italy.
  • BSc. Food microbiology, University of Naples Federico II (Italy), School of Agricultural Sciences, in Science and Technologies Alimentary.
  • Honorary Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Reading
  • Registered Nutritionist, RNutr, Nutrition Science, Number 11073
  • FHEA, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • SEDA Accreditation




Research interests

My primary research interests include the gut microbiota and its contribution to host metabolism; the carcinogenic potential of the microbiome and the impact of early life events on metabolism and development. My recent work has been focusing on the gut microbiota as a therapeutic target for nutritional interventions. I have been researching within the field of gut microbiology for a total of 14 years and I can now offer a 'scientific bridge' between Academia and industrial partners that look for expertise in the field of nutrition. This unique role has given me the opportunity to widen my horizons and appreciate the importance of certain types of analysis for the successful transition of a research discovery into a commercial product (the most popular from bench to bedside). I have developed a fascination for the microbial world of the intestine and how dietary changes can alter this world and hence impact on health. Results of my scientific research have shown great potential for translation into therapy. Currently, with my independent research identity and leadership in research, I am in the position of capitalising on these experiences to move forward my scientific research into investigation of nutritional influences. Of particular interest are the influence of dietary fat, carbohydrates and phytochemicals on microbiome and microbiota, in different population groups. 

Consultancy work


PhD-DoS (University of Reading) – completed within 4 years

  • Roberta Grimaldi - prebiotic BGOS and autism, Clasado-funded PhD (completed April 2017)
  • Simone Maccaferri - Probiotic Kluyveromyces marxianus B0399, immunity and impacts the human gut microbiota. International PhD joint Programme Bologna University, Italy (completed December 2007)
  • Sandra Martin Pelaez - Prebiotics as alternative strategies to antibiotics in pigs. International PhD joint Programme Universita Autonoma de Barcelona (completed 2008)

PhD- Co- supervisor (University of Reading) completed within 4 years

  • Sandra Tejero-Sariñena - Anti-pathogenic properties of selected probiotics- Protexin (UK) funded PhD (completed 2012)
  • Kerry Cupit - Prebiotic fibre and microbiota- Benefiber funded PhD (completed 2012)
  • Thippesh Sannasiddappa - The influence of Staphylococcus aureus on gut microbial ecology. Felix funded PhD (completed 2015)

PhD- DoS (University of Roehampton) – completed within 4 years

  • Kittiwadee Sarnsamark The potential beneficial effect of coffee on diabetes-self funded (completed 2020)

PhD- Director of Studies (University of Roehampton) - current

  • Enver Keleszade (Started March 2019) Seaweeds and microbiome funded PhD funded by BioAtlantis Ltd, Ireland
  • Lorretta Olu Fagbemi (Started April 2022- self-funded) Diet management and alternative therapeutic strategies in coeliac disease

PhD- Co-supervisor (University of Roehampton) - current

  • Oghenerukevwe Anne Obayiuwana (Started October 2018) The health benefits of polyphenols in Nigerian grains: gastrointestinal modifications, bioavailability and mechanisms of actions. PhD funded by the Faculty for the Future Fellowship program - Schlumberger Foundation Board of Directors Commonwealth Programme. DoS Dr Giulia Corona
  • Halimah Rustum (Started Janury 2021) Investigating the regulation of Liver Expressed Antimicrobial Peptide 2 (LEAP2) PhD funded by the Embassy of the State of Kuwait DoS Dr Michael Patterson

Post-doctoral Researchers and Research Assistants – industry funded projects completed

  • Drinalda Cela- UR5 Research Assistant (01/02/16 to 01/08/17) working at Roehampton on selected prebiotic properties and immune response, industry funded Research Agreement (LSC/2016/63) with Clasado, Ltd (UK) Role: Co-I, Departmental Collaboration with Dr Busch, Value: £28K
  • Enver Keleszade -UR5 Research Assistant (11/02/2019 to 31/05/2019) working at Roehampton on selected probiotic properties selected probiotic and cholesterol pathways Role: Lead-PI, industry funded Research Agreement (LSC/2018/64 - Roehampton University and Optibiotix Life Sciences, UK) Value: £50K
  • Dr Natalia Santano Bravo- UR6- Post-doctoral researcher (February-March 2019) working at Roehampton on selected probiotic properties and immune response in MTX-16E cells - Role: Lead-PI, Value: £10K R&D funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark 2018-2019

Interim Fixed term contracts at the University of Roehampton- industry funded current projects

  • Ms Maryame Kadiri Hassani - UR5 Research Assistant (11/04/2022 to 12/12/2022) working at Roehampton on selected prebiotic supplements Role: Lead-PI, funded Research Agreement (LSC/2022 - Roehampton University and Optibiotix Life Sciences, UK) Value: £40K
  • Ms Diana Elena Motei -UR5 Research Assistant (11/07/2022 to 12/10/2022) working at Roehampton on YMETA study (Double blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel investigation into the effects of supplementing Y META, on gut health, immunity and metabolism in pre-diabetic adult population) Role: Lead-PI, funded Research Agreement (LSC/2022 - Roehampton University and Vemico Limited, UK) Value: £30K
  • Ms Oana Ancu -UR5 Research Assistant (11/07/2022 to 12/11/2022) working at Roehampton on glycemic response study Role: Lead-PI, funded Research Agreement (LSC/2022 - Roehampton University and Optibiotix Life Sciences, UK) Value: £12K

Visiting PhD students and Post-Doctoral researchers

  • Jessica Baldini (Visiting PhD Student) (11/01/2016 to 01/09/2017) DoS Prof Patrizia Brigidi (University of Bologna, Italy) working on microbiota analysis via next generation analysis.
  • Marine Letertre (Visiting PhD student since October 2018) DoS Prof Ian Wilson (Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Chair in Drug Metabolism and Molecular Toxicology, Imperial College, London) and Co-I Dr Dr Jonathan Swann (Reader in Microbiomics and Human Development, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Imperial College, London). Leading the setting up of novel in vitro model at Roehampton University towards the development of novel gut techniques and their application to problems in drug metabolism, toxicology, microbiology and metabonomics.
  • A total of 9 Abroad Erasmus and Traineeships students for 6-8 months (since 2016 to date). Supervising and training in the laboratory techniques students from Italy, Spain and France.
  • Tomasz Cieplak (Visiting Post-Doctoral researchers) (01/01/19 to 01/02/19) in collaboration with Prof Dennis Sandris Nielsen (University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Food Science, Food Microbiology, Denmark) working on the development and application of a low volume, increased throughput in vitro pig model.
  • Erik Juncker Boll (Visiting Research Scientist) – (10/03/19 to 20/03/19) (LSC-2018-104 MTA) in collaboration with Animal Health Innovation, Hansen A/S (Danimark) as part of Knoledge transfer skills between Academia and Industrial Partner funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark 2018-2019
  • Carolina Saori Ishii Mauro, ((10/09/21 to 20/04/22-CAPES-Brazilian Scholarship to visit Roehampton University for a period of 8 months) on a Project entitled “An in vitro fermentation study on the impact of cerrado and pantanal brazilian plant flours on gut microbiome in healthy and disease”
  • Zicheng Zhang (10.07.22 to 10.11.22) Collaboration with Dr Ana Rodriguez-Mateos (Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Life Course Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, Kings College London) contributing to the microbiota analysis of blueberries (poly)phenols after in vivo challenge.

External and Inter-Departmental Collaborations

  • Collaboration with Dr Aileen King (King’s College London), Dr David Vazour (University of East Anglia) and Prof. Dennis Sandris Nielsen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) working on ‘Interactions between gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes and beneficial wholegrain polyphenols with subsequent impact on pancreatic islet function’ Role: Co-I, Departmental Collaboration with Drs Hauge Evans and Corona
  • Collaboration with Dr Rodriguez-Mateos (Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Life Course Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, Kings College London) contributing to the microbiota analysis of aronia berry (poly)phenols after in vivo challenge. 
  • Collaboration with Friesland Campina Ingredients Innovation (Wageningen, Netherlands). Provision in kind of prebiotic V-GOS for the human feeding study on ‘The Gut Microbiota in Stress and Eating Behavior’- and Departmental Collaboration Dr Gibson.
  • Collaboration with Prof Pryce (Preclinical Laboratory for Translational Research into Affective Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zurich, Switzerland) and Departmental Collaboration with Prof Opacka-Juffry and Dr Patterson working on the impact of social stress and the microbiome.
  • Collaboration with the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and Departmental Collaboration Drs Michal Letek, Behrends and Calle-Patino.
  • Departmental Collaboration with Drs Betti and Rae working on DNA analysis from dental plaques of skeletons from medieval burials in Godalming (Surrey).
  • Departmental Collaboration with Drs Piril Hepsomali and Prof Paul Allen working on joint Consultant Agreement with Optibiotix Health (UK) on the Impact of Dietary Components on Mental and Cognitive Health.




I am convener of two modules (Body Composition Practical HEP020L035Y for 40 MSc in Clinical Nutrition students) and Food Science - HEA020N223Y for a total of 38 2nd year BSc Nutrition and Health).

Contribution to other Modules: Nutrition in Acute and Chronic Illness HEP020L037A & HEP020LD37A, Advances in Nutrition and Health - HEA020X339Y, Nutrition through the Lifespan - HEA020N212Y, Public Health and Health Promotion - HEA020N213Y, Public Health Approach to Cardio-Metabolic Diseases - HEP020L076S, Integrated Approach to Obesity - HEP020L114Y, Communication HEP020L002Y, Research Methods - HEP020L001A and Dissertation HEP060L004Y and HEP060LD04Y

I also supervise and lead MRes Research Projects in the field of microbiome - HEP120L005Y

Over the past 14 years, I have developed my experience through supervising undergraduate, MSc and PhD students (including experienced researchers) in the laboratory.

I have successfully planned and designed teaching and learning activities (e.g. lectures, seminars and laboratory/field practical sessions across all years (2nd year undergraduate, MSc and MRes) ranging from modifying/updating previously delivered material through to the design and delivery of completely new contents and sessions as appropriate. 

I regularly present my work at group meetings, HSRC seminars, project meetings, dissemination events and conferences informing my research knowledge and provide pedagogical thinking on how to link research and teaching.
I always endeavour to create for my students an inclusive learning environment where they can benefit from a variety of support and guidance. I give individual supervision and mentoring sessions as well as run meetings in groups of peers using similar methods to conduct their research. I encourage them to work together sharing their laboratory’s work on projects that are of a similar nature.  

External positions

•Honorary Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Reading, 2015 to date


  • QM Human anatomy
  • Q Science (General)

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or