Hilary Browne | Staff Scientist

Browne, Hilary

Hilary's work is based upon culturing, curating and whole genome sequencing of the human gut microbiota. Different culture conditions can target fastidious members or particular phenotypes. This growing culture collection will facilitate further studies into the functions and phenotypes that characterise the gut microbiota.

The majority of the human microbiota is still considered unculturable. While culture independent approaches have largely defined the role of the intestinal microbiota to date, genomic and phenotypic characterisation of individual members relies on culturing and archiving for future analysis. To acquire these fastidious bacteria we utilise anaerobic culturing facilities combined with targeted phenotypic culturing techniques. Whole genome sequencing and downstream computational analysis provides an understanding of the underlying genotypes. Beyond learning more about the members of this community - its constituents, the health benefits they provide to their host and how we acquire and transmit them, these bacteria will provide a resource to potentially develop therapeutics to treat diseases associated with the intestinal microbiota.


  • Transmission of the gut microbiota: spreading of health.

    Browne HP, Neville BA, Forster SC and Lawley TD

    Nature reviews. Microbiology 2017;15;9;531-543

  • Culturing of 'unculturable' human microbiota reveals novel taxa and extensive sporulation.

    Browne HP, Forster SC, Anonye BO, Kumar N, Neville BA et al.

    Nature 2016;533;7604;543-546

  • HPMCD: the database of human microbial communities from metagenomic datasets and microbial reference genomes.

    Forster SC, Browne HP, Kumar N, Hunt M, Denise H et al.

    Nucleic acids research 2016;44;D1;D604-9

  • Epithelial IL-22RA1-mediated fucosylation promotes intestinal colonization resistance to an opportunistic pathogen.

    Pham TA, Clare S, Goulding D, Arasteh JM, Stares MD et al.

    Cell host & microbe 2014;16;4;504-16

  • Whole genome sequencing reveals potential spread of Clostridium difficile between humans and farm animals in the Netherlands, 2002 to 2011.

    Knetsch CW, Connor TR, Mutreja A, van Dorp SM, Sanders IM et al.

    Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 2014;19;45;20954

  • Functional genomics reveals that Clostridium difficile Spo0A coordinates sporulation, virulence and metabolism.

    Pettit LJ, Browne HP, Yu L, Smits WK, Fagan RP et al.

    BMC genomics 2014;15;160

Browne, Hilary