Here at CG we love good science, and we are honoured and thrilled to be joined by some of the finest scientists from around the world, on our Scientific Advisory Board. An interdisciplinary mix of doctors, professors, oncologists, pharmacists, biochemists and bioinformaticians, they are all connected by an interest in the human microbiome and a passion for pushing the edges of creative, rigorous science. Have a browse through the bios of the fine minds who are helping us think, plan, create and innovate the next generation of gut health tools!
Dr Amrita Vijay - Lead Scientific Advisor
University of Nottingham
Dr Amrita Vijay is a Research Associate in Gut Microbiome and Metabolic Health at University of Nottingham. She completed her PhD at King’s College London, where she specialised in salivary and mucosal biology. She then pursued her postdoctoral research with Professor Tim Spector at the TwinsUK, Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London before moving to Nottingham where she currently works with Professor Ana Valdes, leading dietary intervention studies focussing on gut microbiome and metabolic health both in the UK as well as in India.
Her current research focuses on observational and interventional studies on the role of nutrition, gut microbiome and metabolomics in relation to health and disease. Dr Vijay was recently awarded under the Nottingham Reward Scheme in recognition of her valuable contribution to research for 2020/2021.
Professor Andy Smith
Andy Smith is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Centre of Occupational and Health Psychology at Cardiff University. Prof. Smith’s research focus is on the effects of health-related behaviours such as food choices, sleep, and physical health on mood, behaviour, and cognition.
Prof. Smith is particularly interested in the effects of prebiotics and probiotics on psychological wellbeing.
He has also published extensively on the links between the effects of upper respiratory tract infections on mood and cognition, and about the psychosocial risk factors for susceptibility to colds and influenza (flu).
Professor Glenn Gibson
University of Reading
Prof. Glenn Gibson researches interactions of the gut microbiome. He is based at the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading.
He has been researching probiotics and prebiotics since the late 1980s. He first coined the term “prebiotics” in a 1995 scientific paper as ways to modulate the microbiome. His current research focuses on acute and chronic gut disease, autism, obesity, probiotics and prebiotics, gastroenteritis in sportspersons, the development of the gut microbial ecosystem with age, and overall gut health.
Professor Ana Valdes
University of Nottingham
Ana M. Valdes is Professor of Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology at the School of Medicine, Nottingham University. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, USA, where she specialised in Genetic Epidemiology. Her research is focused on deciphering on molecular mechanisms linked to complex age related diseases such as osteoarthritis and cardiovascular disease and on the role of gut microbiome composition on human health. Metabolomics, the gut microbiome, metabolic syndrome, nutrition, inflammation, and osteoarthritis are her key areas of expertise. Prof. Valdes is Associate Editor for the Osteoarthritis and Cartilage and Microbiome journals.
Dr Kate Lawrence
St Mary’s University, Twickenham
Dr Lawrence is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Kate’s research specialises in neurodevelopmental disorders, with a particular focus on dietary and microbiome influences on mental health and cognitive function. She gained her BA (Hons) First Class in Psychology at Oxford University and was awarded her PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, whilst working at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health.
Kate has recently published interesting discoveries on the links between the gut microbiome and symptoms in children with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with collaborators from other universities, including our Head of R&D Dr Miguel Toribio-Mateas, who is part of Dr Lawrence’s ADHD research group. They are currently running a randomised controlled trial on the impact of kefir on behaviour, sleep and the microbiome in children with ADHD.
Dr Mridula Chopra
University of Portsmouth
Dr Mridula Chopra is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Portsmouth. She completed her Biochemistry Hons degree, PhD, and postdoctoral fellowship at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, then joined the MRC Dunn Nutrition Unit in Cambridge, one of the most important institutes for human health and nutrition in the world. Dr Chopra then worked at the Northern Ireland Centre for Diet and Health in Coleraine before taking up her Senior Lecturer position at the University of Portsmouth in 2002, where she’s held several roles, including course leader for the Masters (MSc) Biomedicine, Chair of the board of studies, member of the Science Faculty Ethics Committee, and coordinator for several undergraduate and postgraduate modules.
Dr Chopra is currently supervising postgraduate students (PhD, MD, MRes) in the diabetes, cancer, and nutrition area. The human gut microbiome and its interface with food, nutrition, health and disease is one of Dr Chopra’s key research interests.
Dr Sam Watts
Mind Body Medical
Dr Sam Watts is an integrative medicine practitioner based in West Sussex. Sam specialises in sharing the wisdom of Ancient Ayurveda in the western world through a variety of courses, and programmes as well as professional training.
Dr Chit Cheng Yeoh
Dr Yeoh is a Consultant Medical Oncologist specialising in Acute Oncology, Melanoma, Cancer Unknown Primary and Gynaecology Cancers. Dr Yeoh completed her medical training at University College London, going on to work for Cancer Research UK (Charterhouse Square), focusing on the molecular biology in breast cancer.
Since completion of her specialist training in 2012, she has been based at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. Dr Yeoh is one of the first few Oncologists to use Immunotherapy, and she is a firm believer of maintaining host immunity in living well.
Dr Chit Cheng has received several awards, including Prof Alexander Spiers Keynote Lecture Medal 2018, Royal College Physicians Edinburgh; 2016 QiC Award and Clinical Excellence Award holder; 2014 Best Cancer Team Awarded by Quality in Care (QiC); 2013 Best Innovation Team, Westminster, Acute Oncology Walk-in Bay.
She has a particular research interest in the human gut microbiome and its links with Cancer Prevention.
Dr Alex Davidson
Dr Alexandra (Alex) Davidson is a general practitioner (GP) working in the NHS as well as in private practice. She completed a dual degree in medicine and pharmacology at University College London (UCL), in the mid 2000s, going on to work as a clinician in the NHS before becoming UCL Academic Fellow in Clinical Practice in 2012. Dr Alex taught and directed the delivery of General Practice Studies at Cambridge University Medical School for several years, and more recently moved to private clinical practice.
Dr Davidson’s approach to medicine is integral. She tries to get to the root cause of ill-health by examining the body’s various systems as a whole, and targeting the upstream causes of symptoms. She works as an expert generalist, but her special interest areas are gut problems, inflammatory disorders and fatigue.
Dr Helen Brown
Dr Helen Brown is a Lecturer in Microbiology at the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University. Her research interest is biofilm formation as a resistance and pathogenicity mechanism. Her current research focuses on interactions between fibroblasts and opportunistic pathogens within chronic wound infections. Bacteria contaminate and form biofilms within wounds early in the healing process and while we know the majority of wounds contain biofilms, only a subsection of these communities go on to cause symptomatic infections. Prior to starting her PhD, Dr. Brown worked for six years in the pharmaceutical industry, using mammalian cell-based assays to assess drug biological safety and potency.