skip to content

School of the Biological Sciences

Unlocking the secrets of the microbiome offers immense promise for improving human, animal, and planetary health. The microbiome refers to the diverse community of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, living within and on our bodies, as well as around us in the environment.

Cambridge researchers from across disciplinary boundaries are working together to understand and harness the power of these tiny organisms to drive a step change in our understanding of human and animal health. Moreover, recognising how human activities impact the planet's microbiomes can guide sustainable environmental practices and promote biodiversity, delivering a healthier planet where all can thrive.

Collaboration and Engagement

Microbiome research is inherently interdisciplinary, spanning the fields of microbiology, genetics, immunology, ecology, bioinformatics and medicine, among others. Through a series of engagement meetings, Cambridge researchers are collaborating to explore how microbiomes influence health, disease and ecological balances in the wider environment.

Through a series of 'lab meeting' style events, researchers from 15 Departments and Institutes across Cambridge have collaborated to share their research findings, as well as the challenges facing the field more widely, allowing space to develop solutions and deliver new insights and innovations in the microbiome research space. The breadth of research excellence at Cambridge, coupled with our collaborative and multidisciplinary scientific ethos, positions us at the heart of an exciting and dynamic research field that holds significant promise for human and planetary health.



Read more about some of our latest microbiome research in a recent article published by the University of Cambridge

Key Collaborators

Alex Almeida, Veterinary Medicine

Kate Baker, Genetics

Tanmay Bharat, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Josie Bryant, Wellcome Sanger Institute

David Bulmer, Pharmacology

Cinzia Cantacessi, Veterinary Medicine

Paul Dupree, Biochemistry

Robert Finn, EMBL-EBI

Diana Fusco, Physics

Luis González, Veterinary Medicine and Wellcome Sanger Institute 

Rui Guan, MRC Toxicology Unit 

Ashray Gunjur, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Florian Hollfelder, Biochemistry

Mike Inouye, Public Health and Primary Care

Trevor Lawley, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Archana Madhav, Medicine

Luis Miguel Martins, MRC Toxicology Unit

Reece McCoy, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Julian Parkhill, Veterinary Medicine

Kiran Patil, MRC Toxicology Unit

Virginia Pedicord, Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease

Susannah Salter, Veterinary Medicine 

Ana Catarina da Silva, Veterinary Medicine

Sarah Spencer, MRC Toxicology Unit

Lucy Weinert, Veterinary Medicine 

Alexandra Wheeler-Enslin, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Eske Willerslev, Zoology

Qi Yin, Veterinary Medicine

Work with us

We welcome opportunities to collaborate with industry partners, policy makers and academics. If you are interested in working with us, please contact Dr Abi Herrmann, Research Strategy Manager.

The Naked Scientists podcast - Identifying hidden gut bacteria

The Naked Scientists website with photo of scientist looking at cells

Alex Almeida featured in The Naked Scientists podcast discussing microbiome research.

Key Publications

Bioaccumulation of therapeutic drugs by human gut bacteria

Klünemann M, Andrejev S, Blasche S...Patil K. Nature 597, 533–538 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03891-8

A new genomic blueprint of the human gut microbiota

Almeida A, Mitchell AL, Boland M, Forster SC, Gloor GB, Tarkowska A, Lawley TD, Finn RD. Nature. 2019 Apr;568(7753):499-504. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-0965-1

Academic Leads

Alex Almeida

Veterinary Medicine

Kiran Patil

MRC Toxicology Unit