Harriet’s main research interest is in the microbiome and its role in human health.
There is increasing evidence of the huge role the microbiome plays in human health and therefore an increasing interest to develop therapies that target the microbiome to treat diseases both of the gut the body as a whole. The gut microbiome has a particularly important role in infancy and disruption at this point can lead to disease in later life.
Her PhD project is titled ‘Insects as models to study the impact of antibiotics and microbiota therapies on the human gut microbiome: reducing the use of animals in research’. This involves establishing the Greater Waxmoth (Galleria mellonella) as a model for the infant gut microbiome in collaboration with the Hall Lab at the Quadram Institute.
This would be a more rapid, more ethical and cheaper model than mice and could be used to develop a greater understanding of how to optimise the microbiome for human health