Department of Life Sciences

Visiting address
1048 Parkstead House, Whitelands

    Research areas

  • QM Human anatomy
  • Q Science (General)

Biography

I am a Senior Lecturer 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.

 

Qualifications

  • 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
  • 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. 

Research projects

 

- Gut microbial functionality as a modulator of individual colorectal cancer risk.

- The role of milling and fermentation and in determining the prebiotic effects of wheat.

- Metagenomic approach to identify L. plantarum encapsulated within a customized resistant starch from red rice after in vitro fermentation.

- In vitro experimental design to study gene expression of E. coli ST131 by micro-arrays.

- HITChip metagenomic approach to analyse DNA samples after in vivo competition in a consumption trial in elderly people.

-Metagenomic characterisation and metagenomes analysis for functional diversity using UniFrac via MiqSeq platform after in vivo competition in people with raised cholesterol levels.

- Effect of a prebiotic (B-GOS) supplementation on microbiota and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Consultancy work

Member of ISAPP

Links

Teaching

 

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.  

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