About us

Launched in 2012 by the Gut Microbiota and Health section of the European Society for Neurogastroenterology and Motility (ESNM), the “Gut Microbiota for Health” platform’s mission is to share knowledge and promote debate regarding gut microbiota. Our goal is to raise awareness of and interest in the gut’s bacterial community and its importance for our health and quality of life both among the scientific and medical community and society in general.

With more than 47,000 members around the globe, our platform has become an international benchmark for gut microbiota information and debate. We encourage contributions and interactions from readers and followers via our website and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter @GMFHx, Twitter @GutmicrobiotaWWYoutube, Google+ News Watch, Google+ Research&Practice and now also on LinkedIn).

Visit our website and subscribe to our newsletters to stay up-to-date with the latest news about the amazing world of gut microbiota.

Gut Microbiota News Watch is a section on the Gut Microbiota for Health platform dedicated to expanding knowledge about gut microbiota’s importance for health and quality of life among the media and society in general. Using clear and easy-to-understand language, our aim is to keep our readers up-to-date on the latest facts and news about gut microbiota. We publish content in English, French and Spanish. Interviews with experts, videos, book reviews and discussions about recent findings from leading international research bodies are just part of what you can find in our section. The content we share on our site is sent to our subscribers via our monthly Gut Microbiota for Health News Watch Newsletter (also available in 3 languages). You can subscribe on our homepage.

Gut Microbiota Research & Practice is a section of the Gut Microbiota for Health platform dedicated to promoting knowledge-sharing and debate among researchers, scientists and healthcare professionals. It offers a selection of discussions about articles from scientific literature as well as other content including interviews with experts, event reports, e-learning activities and special publications. The new content we publish is sent to our subscribers via our bimonthly Gut Microbiota for Health Research & Practice Newsletter. You can subscribe on our homepage.

Meet our Board of Experts


Joël DoréResearch Director at the French Research Institute in Agricultural Sciences, INRA, Dr. Joël Doré is currently President of the Executive Committee of the Pre-Industrial Demonstrator MetaGenoPolis, a platform of excellence dedicated to quantitative and functional metagenomics, funded by the French government Futures Investments. He is Deputy Head of the MICALIS institute “Food and Gut Microbiology for Human Health” and scientific board member of Microbiology Pole of the Doctoral School “Therapeutic Innovations” at Paris-XI University. Joël Doré received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, in 1988. His main research interest is the molecular assessment of the human intestinal microbiota in health and disease and metagenomic investigation of the molecular cross-talk between intestinal bacteria and human cells. Dr. Doré has published >120 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals. His goal is to provide a better understanding of the intestinal ecosystem in order to support therapeutic choices in the medical area, as well as health claims for functional foods.

United States of America

Mary Ellen SandersMary Ellen Sanders is a consultant in the area of probiotic microbiology, with special expertise on paths to scientific substantiation of probiotic product label claims. Dr. Sanders served as the founding president of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (www.isappscience.org) and is currently the organization’s Director of Scientific Affairs/ Executive Officer. This international, non-profit association of academic and industrial scientists is dedicated to advancing the science of probiotics and prebiotics. Through numerous written, oral and video pieces, including a website, www.usprobiotics.org, she strives to provide objective, evidence-based information on probiotics for consumers and professionals. Key activities include: Panels to determine GRAS status of probiotic strains ; member of the American Gastroenterological Association Scientific Advisory Board for AGA Center for Gut Microbiome Research and Education ; World Gastroenterology Organisation Committee preparing practice guidelines for the use of probiotics and prebiotics for GI indications (2008, 2011, 2014) ; working group convened by the FAO/WHO that developed guidelines for probiotics (2002).


Premysl BercikDr. Bercik obtained an MD degree from Charles University, Prague, Czechoslovakia. He then pursued post-graduate doctoral studies at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where he investigated neural control of gastrointestinal motility. He trained as a postdoctoral research and clinical fellow at McMaster University under the supervision of Prof. Stephen Collins focusing on animal models of functional gastrointestinal diseases. Currently, he is Associate Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Director of the Clinical Motility laboratory and member of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster University, Canada. His clinical interest lies in functional bowel disorders, intestinal dysmotility, gastroparesis and celiac disease. His basic research focuses on the role of intestinal bacteria in gut-brain axis in the context of gut function, low-grade inflammation and behavior, including anxiety and depression. Dr. Bercik has published more than 50 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals.


Phillippe MarteauGastroenterologist, Head of the Medico-surgical department of Hepato-gastroenterology, Lariboisière Hospital, Paris. Professor of gastroenterology at Paris 7 University. Philippe Marteau received his PhD from the University Paris XI, France, in 1994. His main research interest is Physiopathology of the human intestinal ecosystem (intestinal microbiota in health and disease): role of the ecosystem in the development of intestinal diseases, especially inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis…) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); treatment or prevention (1st axis: description of the ecosystem in different physiological situations and pathological conditions -inflammatory bowel disease, cancers, polyps- / 2nd axis: modulation of the ecosystem using probiotics, prebiotics or other food substrates). Philippe Marteau has published >270 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals. He is member of the French Society of Gastroenterology, ECCO and of IOIBD (International Organization of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases), GETAID. He is president of the French “Collégiale des Universitaires d’Hépatogastroentérologie”. He has been principal investigator of several randomized controlled trials using drugs or probiotics in the treatment of various gastrointestinal diseases, especially inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.


Lena ÖhmanSenior Principal Investigator at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Lena Öhman is a Marie Curie Fellow, investigating host and microbiome interactions in the gut, funded by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems. Lena Öhman received her PhD in 2002, and was assigned Associate Professor in 2009, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her main research interest is how gut microbiota is linked to changed gut immune and barrier function, and classical pathophysiological alterations in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Dr. Öhman has published >30 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals. Her goal is to provide a better understanding of the interaction between mucosal immunology, gut microbiota, and symptomatology of bowel disorders.


Patrice CaniProfessor Patrice D. Cani is researcher from the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS), group leader in the Metabolism and Nutrition research group at the Louvain Drug Research Institute (LDRI) from the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Brussels, Belgium, and WELBIO (Walloon Excellence in Lifesciences and BIOtechnology) investigator. He is currently member of several international associations, he is member of the Alumni College from the Royal Belgian Academy of Sciences, and he has been elected in the board of directors of the LDRI (UCL). Patrice D. Cani has a M.Sc. in Nutrition and another M.Sc. in health Sciences, he is registered dietitian and PhD in Biomedical Sciences. His main research interests are the investigation of the role of the gut microbiota in the development of metabolic disorders, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and low grade inflammation. More specifically, he is investigating the interactions between the gut microbiota, the host and specific biological systems such as the endocannabinoid system and the innate immune system in the context of obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic inflammation. Prof Cani is author and co-author of more than 110 scientific research papers published in peer-reviewed international journals, conferences and book chapters.


Elena VerdúDr. Verdu’s research has focused on the pathophysiology of inflammatory and functional gastrointestinal disorders. She undertook clinical research training at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where she studied the interaction between chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori and gastritis in humans and the possible therapeutic role of probiotic bacteria. Her PhD studies in the Institute of Microbiology and Gnotobiology at the Czech Academy of Science and University of Lausanne focused on the effect of bacterial antigens in animal models of inflammatory bowel disease. As a post-doctoral fellow at McMaster University she gained experience with animal models of gut functional diseases and investigated the mechanisms of action of probiotic bacteria. As a member of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster University, Dr. Verdu investigates host-microbial and dietary interactions in the context of celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. She has been honored with the New Investigator Award (Canadian Celiac Association), the New Investigator Award (Functional Gut-Brain Research Group, USA) and the Campbell Research Award in celiac disease (Canadian Celiac Association). The American Gastroenterology Association and the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology have awarded her the “Master’s in Gastroenterology Award” for basic science and “Young Investigator’s Award”, respectively. She is Associate Professor at the Division of Gastroenterology, Dep. of Medicine at McMaster University and currently directs the Axenic Gnotobiotic Unit at McMaster.

United States of America

James VersalovicDr. James Versalovic received his M.D. with Honors at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in 1995 and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology at BCM in 1994. He pursued clinical pathology/medical microbiology residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He also received postdoctoral research training in the Division of Comparative Medicine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Versalovic joined the medical staff as a clinical pathologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital and served as Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School from 1999-2001. He is board-certified in clinical pathology, molecular genetic pathology, and molecular diagnostics. Dr. Versalovic currently serves as Pathologist-In-Chief, Head of the Department of Pathology, and as member of the Board of Directors at Texas Children’s Hospital. He also serves as Vice Chair of Molecular Pathology and Omics at BCM, and Director of the Texas Children’s Microbiome Center. He holds the Milton J. Finegold endowed chair as Professor of Pathology & Immunology, and Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular and Human Genetics, and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. He is Co-Director of the Medical Scientist (MD/PhD) Training Program at Baylor. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Manual of Clinical Microbiology and Editor of Therapeutic Microbiology: Probiotics and Related Strategies. As a Principal Investigator, his primary research interests include the human microbiome, probiotics, medical and molecular microbiology, innate immunity, digestive diseases, and gastrointestinal physiology. His research program has been supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Dr. Versalovic has authored 131 primary manuscripts, 34 book chapters, and 2 patents. He received the Lansky Award as a national leader in pathology under the age of 45 from the College of American Pathologists Foundation. He also received the BioGaia Ivan Casas Probiotics Research Award and the BCM Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Distinguished Alumnus Award.

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