The Gut Immunology group - Rowett Research Institute - University of Aberdeen - Aberdeen

On the first of July 2008, the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health has merged with the University of Aberdeen to create World Leader in Nutrition and Health Research.

Established in 1913, Rowett receives funding from the Scottish Government Rural and Environment Research and Analysis Directorate, with a staff complement of 268. The aim is to provide evidence-based nutrition information to enable Government to formulate robust nutritional advice. 

The Gut Immunology group is involved in the Gut Health Programme. Research Goals of the group are to understand the different effects of pathogenic and commensal bacteria on gut immunity, to understand the mechanisms involved in microbes host interactions and to develop new therapeutics for the treatment of human gut disorders, including IBD and colorectal cancer.

Research and Training Expertise

The Gut Immunolgy and Microbiology group has world recognized expertise on gut microbiota diversity and functionality. They provided cutting edge data on the role of selected bacterial strains from the bacteriodetes and firmicutes phyla in modulating mucosal immune response. The group has documented the impact of commensal bacteria on epithelial gene expression (NF-kB, defensins, chemokines and cytokines) and on the receptor involved (TLR).

RRI is currently hosting 40 Marie Curie’s fellows, 20-30 foreign ESR per annum, 15-20 PhD (30% European). Maximally, we have had 50 ESR at RRI.

Key persons involved

Professor Denise Kelly is head of Gut immunology & Microbiology Biology Group and is an inventor on two patent applications. Research emphasis is on Gut immunity and the mechanisms of bacterial induced inflammation and regulation.

As the Student Liaison Officer’s of RRI, Dr Charles Bestwick is responsible for raising any issues with the Director of Academic Studies, when deemed necessary, to assist in the induction of new students and administrate the system and to act as mentor and point of contact with all students in relation to non-research based issues. He creates a monitoring timetable for all students. His expertise in ESR training and following will benefit to the CROSS-TALK project and all cognate training officers.

Material Ressources

The group is fully equipped to perform up-to-date methods in microbiology, and immunology. Among this one can cite real-time PCR, microarray analysis, Affymetrix gene platform, plasmid library construction, siRNA, FRET (protein:protein interactions), Fluorescence, Confocal and Electron microscopy, trafficking of fluorescence- tagged proteins in cells in real-time, Proteomics, Flow cytometry (FACSAria) , cytokine/chemokine analyses (FACSArray).

Within the RRI, it has access to platforms including genomics, proteomics, LCMD, MS, and animal facility.

3 Key publications

  • Valérie Gaboriau-Routhiau 1,2, Sabine Rakotobe 1,2, Imke Mulder 3, Annaïg Lan 3, Chantal Bridonneau 1, Violaine Rochet 1, Marianne De Paepe 2, Giovanni Brandi 4, Johannes Snel 5, Denise Kelly 3 and Nadine Cerf-Bensussan 2(2009) The host specific Clostridium-related segmented filamentous bacteria orchestrate the induction of intestinal adaptive T cell responses Immunity 31, 677-689 (IF 19.26)
  • Reiff, C., Delday, M., Hormannsperger, G., Clavel, T., Hoffman, .M., Loh, G., Blaut, M., Holzlwimmer, G., Haller, D., Kelly, D. (2009) Balancing inflammatory, lipid and xenobiotic signalling pathways by VSL#3, a biotherapeutic agent, in treating inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory Bowel Disease 15, 1721-1736
  • Imke Mulder1, Bettina Schmidt1, Aminov R., Pinder Bhupinder Gill32, Christopher Stokes23, Marie Lewis2 Lewis3 & Denise Kelly1 (2009) The impact of the gut microbiota on global transcriptional responses in the porcine gut. BMC Biology 7, 79-99