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This week we profile a recent publication in Applied and Environmental Microbiology from first author Dr. Julie Grondin (pictured), a former postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Harry Brumer’s lab at the Michael Smith Laboratories and UBC.

Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus?

The Brumer group focusses on the dissection of the molecular systems in our symbiotic gut bacteria that a responsible for the metabolism of complex carbohydrates in dietary fiber.

What is the significance of the findings in this publication?

This publication provides insight into how individual carbohydrate-active enzymes and carbohydrate-binding proteins in the human gut microbiota have evolved to recognize specific polysaccharides and break them down into simpler sugars for growth.

What are the next steps for this research?

Ongoing research seeks to map similar systems in other members of the human gut microbiota to provide a comprehensive understanding of how the diverse carbohydrates we eat contribute to our nutrition and health.

If you’d like to mention your funding sources, please list them.

Dr. Grondin received a MSFHR Research Trainee award to investigate the molecular mechanisms of complex carbohydrate uptake by human gut microbiota. Research in Dr. Brumer’s group is also supported by the CIHR.

 

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