Exploring the link between our microbiome and wellbeing

Posted on: 8 June 2023 by Dr Carl Roberts in June 2023 posts

Neuroscientist Dr Carl Roberts is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology and co-lead of the Unilever Brain and Behaviour collaboration. Here he discusses an exciting and unique new research partnership.

As part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership funded by Innovate UK, the Department of Psychology is collaborating with the University’s Microbiome Innovation Centre and Unilever R&D on an exciting new project to uncover links between our microbiome and holistic wellbeing.

Our microbiome is a living network of trillions of bacteria and microbes which co-exist on, in and around our bodies. Ensuring this microscopic system is balanced is essential to overall good health but it can also have a significant effect on how we look and feel.

Through our Unilever Brain and Behaviour collaboration, the Department of Psychology has been collaborating with Unilever since 2010 on a range of sensory/affective cutting-edge neuroscience projects.

The University of Liverpool has some of the best technology in the world to explore the microbiome and for this new project, we have teamed up with Professor Steve Paterson from the Microbiome Innovation Centre. Steve has been working in collaboration with Unilever since 2005 and together we aim to characterise the relationship between our microbiome and our psychological wellbeing.

Our unique project combines the latest advances in microbiome science with new psychological methods, creating the scientific capability to link changes in the skin microbiome to wellbeing over time. This in turn could pave the way for new product approaches and technology targets.