Dr. Gibson (Associate Professor and Associate Head of Research, Biology, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus) studies how the gut microbiome develops in response to the environmental ques like diet and how this drives immunity. While genetics plays a role in the type of microbes that one harbours, other factors are major predictors of which types of microbes and bacterial metabolites are produced in the mammalian gut. For example, early life is an important time for microbial colonization whereby antibiotic exposure alters the microbiome, which is passed on from mother to offspring. Host behaviours, such as exercise, predict microbiome diversity associated with metabolite production in the human gut; diet and the environment are also important factors.
One focus of Dr. Gibson’s research has been how to improve the bioavailability of probiotics. She has created patented designer probiotics to treat various inflammatory conditions including IBD, diabetes and neuroinflammation. She was the recipient of an NSERC research scholar award, a UBC Killam research award and the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology 2018 Young Investigator Award. She has been the recipient of grant funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research, NSERC and Crohns and Colitis Canada.
For an up-to-date list of publications by Dr. Gibson, please see Google Scholar.
University: University of Victoria
Position: Associate Professor