Alan W Walker
I am a microbiologist by training with specific interests in the bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of mammalian hosts, particularly in humans and mice. After receiving an undergraduate degree in Microbiology from the University of Aberdeen I studied for my PhD at the Rowett Institute and at the University of Dundee, specialising in gut microbiology and the role that intestinal bacteria play in the breakdown of dietary fibre. I then spent eight and a half years at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, where we used state of the art DNA sequencing facilities to better characterise host-associated microbial communities and shed light on the roles these microbes play both in health and in diseases such Cystic Fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease and infection with Salmonella spp. and Clostridium difficile. I am now a Senior Lecturer/Principal Investigator at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health within the University of Aberdeen. In our lab we combine anaerobic microbiology with DNA sequencing technologies in order to examine interactions between host diet and the intestinal microbiota, and how these factors may contribute to host health.