East Meets West: Why are athletes strong and fast?
What role does gut bacteria play in making athletes strong and fast?
UIC doctoral student Jarrad Hampton-Marcell will use a $100,000 citizen-science grant from uBiome, a microbial genomics company, to examine that question. Hampton-Marcell was selected for the grant by a public vote during the uBiome Microbiome Research Grant Competition.
Hampton-Marcell, a biological sciences student, is studying whether changes in gut microbial communities can help measure the impact of athletic training regimens.
“This grant will allow me to find the biological signatures that could potentially contribute to better understanding of metabolism, inflammation and energy utilization driven by the gut microbiome and begin to understand how to create individualized and affordable treatments based on one’s lifestyle,” said Hampton-Marcell, who also works as a microbiologist at Argonne National Laboratory.
He’s collaborating on his multidisciplinary project with UIC researchers from the east and west sides of campus. Rachel Poretsky, assistant professor of biological sciences, will use her expertise in microbial ecology and bioinformatics to help identify the microorganisms that influence metabolism, inflammation and development or degradation. Craig Horswill, adjunct clinical associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition, will bring his exercise physiology background to the project, helping Hampton-Marcell understand how hydration influences energy utilization in relation to performance. Read More….