University of Aberdeen
Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health


The Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health undertakes research to address some of the most compelling contemporary problems in nutrition, aimed at preventing disease and improving health through good nutrition. Our research contributes not only to new scientific knowledge, but also to new understanding to underpin Government policies and to inform innovation for industry. As part of the University of Aberdeen since 2008, the Institute’s research is organized into three main themes - Lifelong Health, Gut Health and Obesity and Metabolic Health.

The Microbiology Group within the Gut Health theme has strong expertise in the cultivation of strictly anaerobic gut bacteria, in pure culture as well as continuous-flow fermentations of mixed inocula, and harbours a unique collection of functionally characterised strains covering the main known bacterial groups present in the human gut. More recent involvement in several fully controlled dietary trials at the human nutrition unit of the Institute has led to the build-up of a portfolio of molecular expertise in characterising the response of the microbiota to dietary intake.

Contribution to Fibebiotics project

Inter-individual variation in gut microbial composition often results in high variability when trying to assess the impact of dietary non-digestible carbohydrates using human faecal samples. We will therefore develop a reproducible test-system for the effect of polysaccharides and prebiotics on the gut microbiota. This will entail setting up a consortium of gut isolates that represent the major bacterial groups within the human colon and associated molecular methods for monitoring consortium development during carbohydrate fermentation. We will also contribute to molecular microbiota analysis of samples from human trials run by the consortium.




Dr. Petra Louis

Phone: +44 1224 438735

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