The Host-Microbiota Interactions Lab explores the relationship between humans and their microbiome- the community of microorganisms that live on and in us. The team focusses on gut bacteria and viruses and their influence in long-term growth, development and disease resistance of children from Westernized and Low- and Middle-Income countries.
Humans are colonised by diverse, highly adapted microorganisms that co-evolved beneficial interactions and functions to promote human health, development and disease resistance. Microbiota acquisition starts at birth and recent evidence suggests microbiota assembly increases microbial diversity and functions that parallel immune system development and regulation in the rapidly growing infant. Disruption of maternal transmission by C-section and antibiotic exposure around birth is associated with a higher incidence of infections, AMR pathogen colonization and immune-related disorders in children.
The Host-Microbiota Interactions Lab (HMIL) is studying maternal transmission and microbiota assembly in infants and linking beneficial bacteria and functions to key immune, metabolic and cognitive milestones in a child’s development. The lab is interested in identifying beneficial microbes and functions that can be used to optimize and nurture the longer-term growth, development and disease resistance of babies from Westernized and Low- and Middle-Income countries.
The HMIL uses large-scale genomic studies, anaerobic microbiology and experimental models for biological discovery. The HMIL generates large-scale publically available genomic resources and bacterial culture collections and innovates metagenomic technologies and microbiological methods to drive biological discovery to enable the translation of the human microbiome.
Areas of research
The team investigates host-microbiota interactions in early-life linked to:
- microbiome assembly
- pathogen colonisation resistance
- symbiosis and bacterial interactions
- immune, metabolic and cognitive development
- virome and resistome
The HMIL aims to identify beneficial microbes and functions that can be used to optimize and nurture the longer-term growth, development and disease resistance of babies from Westernized and Low- and Middle-Income countries.
Dr Trevor Lawley
Trevor's research investigates the mechanisms that underlie how micro-organisms on mucosal surfaces (gut, nasopharnyx, urogenital tract) interact with their host during periods of health and disease. In particular he seeks to develop novel ways to treat diseases that are associated with unwanted imbalances in the micro-organism communities.
Previous team members
Metagenome assembled genomes from the human intestinal microbiota
Host-Microbiota Interactions Laboratory
Metagenomes and whole genome seqeunces from the intestinal microbiota of babies and mothers
Host-Microbiota Interactions Laboratory
Experimental Cancer Genetics
We are a team of cancer biologists, geneticists and computational biologists interested in understanding how cancers develop and the ways of ...
DNA Pipelines Research and Development
DNA Pipelines Development
The DNA Pipelines Research and Development group is the entry point for new technologies to the Institute, especially sequencing instruments. The ...
The Group has several productive internal and external collaborations including those with
Baby Biome Study is a large-scale UK birth cohort study and biobank that aims to to understand how interactions between microorganisms, the immune system, and clinical, social, and behavioural factors during pregnancy and early life influence later health and disease
The CHAIN network aims to identify the biological mechanisms and the socio-economic factors that determine a child’s risk of mortality in the six months following presentation to medical care with an acute illness in resource-limited settings.
Acting Director General Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and Honorary Faculty at the Wellcome Sanger Institute