Prof Jo Fothergill attends House of Lords to raise profile of UK Microbiome Research

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Director of Liverpool’s Microbiome Innovation Centre (MIC), Professor Jo Fothergill,  attended a meeting at the House of Lords, which was convened to discuss strategies for raising the profile of microbiome research in the UK.

The meeting was hosted by Baroness Bennet of Manor Castle, life peer, former leader of the Green Party and member of the All Party Parliamentary Group  (APPG) on the Human Microbiome. The meeting was intended to build on the work of the now defunct APPG and to  develop strategies for promoting broader understanding of UK microbiome research in a One Health context to both policy makers and wider society.

Attendees included leading academics from institutions including: Liverpool, Imperial, Glasgow and, Nottingham Trent and topics for discussion included what UK microbiome research does well and the multiple policy areas where microbiome research can have societal impact.

Following the success of this inaugural meeting, the group will continue to meet bi-monthly and will collectively develop a strategy for promoting microbiome research to government.

Professor Fothergill said “This is a really pivotal point for microbiome research. There is an increased political interest in its potential and a real sense of momentum about advancing discovery science in this area. The MIC was set up because Liverpool has diverse areas of expertise associated with microbiome research and in order to maximise our potential, we know we must work more collaboratively and in a way that combines diverse disciplines.

 Our centre comprises over 45 academics with an active research interest in the microbiome, from disciplines as diverse as fundamental biology, veterinary science, medicine and psychology. It was an honour to give our breadth and depth of expertise a broader platform and to ensure the MIC is central to national  conversations about advancing microbiome research in the UK and beyond.”

To learn more about the work of the MIC, you can contact Jo at jofoth@liverpool.ac.uk, or follow the centre on Twitter @LivUniMIC and visit the centre website.