Brain, Bacteria and Behaviour: Understanding the Gut-Brain Axis

This course was targeted at participants interested in designing, conducting and interpreting research on the associations between the gut microbiome, brain and behaviour.

Topics in the course:

  • The (Systems) Biology of the Microbiota and the various routes of gut-brain communication.
  • The role of the Microbiota -Gut-Brain Axis in behaviour and mental health.
  • Key modifiers of the gut microbiome (nutrition, stress, age, gender and host genes)
  • Current methodological approaches to analyse Microbiota -Gut-Brain Axis based hypothesis (data collection, bacterial DNA extraction, bioinformatic and statistical tools)
  • Practical sessions aimed to analyse 16s RNA-gene microbiome data and associating it with brain imaging data and cognitive tasks.

Learning Outcomes

After this course you are able to:

  1. Understand the basic concepts of the gut microbiome biology
  2. Explain the various routes through which the gut and the brain influence each other
  3. Understand the pros and cons of using several bioinformatics pipelines for analysing and interpreting 16s RNA gut microbiome data
  4. Design an experiment to investigate how the gut microbiome influences brain functioning/behaviour

Programme available at the Training workshop website