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Rachel D

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate


Gut Microbiome, Probiotics/Probiotics, Gut Health, General microbiome projects, Molecular Biology or Genetics focused projects

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Does Your Community Consume Probiotics?

Microorganisms, such as bacteria, play an essential role in human health and wellbeing. One community of microbes that is essential to our health is our gut microbiome, which is made up of trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that call our gastrointestinal tract home. These microorganisms perform essential functions that help up stay happy and healthy. Loss of our health gut bacteria can have profound impacts on health and is associated with many disorders from irritable bowel syndrome to depression. Therefore, maintenance of a healthy gut microbiome is crucial to human health. One way to promote a healthy gut microbiome is through the consumption of probiotics, or live microorganisms that are meant to have health benefits when consumed. Probiotics can be found in the form of supplements or in fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and Kombucha. However, many people are not aware of the benefits of probiotics or event that they consume them. To determine how aware your community is about the benefits and sources of probiotics available and subsequently provide educational materials, this project involves building, conducting, and sharing the results from a survey assessing community awareness of probiotics. Specifically, you would spend time learning about the gut microbiome and probiotics, build a survey to share with your community, perform data analysis with the results from the survey, and share your findings with your community (e.g. create an infographic or short article to publish in your school newspaper).

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