N of One is fortunate to have put together the leading autism microbiome scientific advisory board in the world:
Emma Allen-Vercoe PhD
Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe serves as a scientific advisor to N of One: Autism Research Foundation and is part of N of One’s Microbiome team. Dr. Vercoe is an associate professor at the University of Guelph in Canada. Dr. Vercoe is leader in the human gut microbiome and has led investigations into its role in human disease and autism. Dr. Vercoe is an international lecturer on the microbiome and proponent of the view that the microbiome works together as a community to exist and perform tasks. Dr. Vercoe has an international reputation for being able to culture previously ‘unculturable’ anaerobic microbes in order to better understand their biology. To do this, she developed a model gut system (dubbed ‘Robogut’) to emulate the conditions of the human gut and allow communities of microbes to grow together, as they do naturally and study it as a working ecosystem. While many researchers emphasis the presence of absence of certain species, Dr. Vercoe’s work focuses on the functional metabolic capacity of the community rather than its specific constituents.
Dr. Vercoe obtained her BSc (Hons) in biochemistry in 1993 from the University of London, and her PhD in molecular microbiology through an industrial partnership with the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, conferred through the Open University in 1999. She moved her lab and this system to the University of Guelph in late 2007, and has been a recent recipient of the John Evans Leader’s Fund (through the Canadian Foundation for Innovation) that has allowed her to develop her specialist anaerobic fermentation laboratory further. She currently runs a lab of 11 people with projects that are broad in nature, but united under the banner of human microbiome research. These projects include studies of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and in particular comparing the metabolic signatures of whole gut microbial communities from children with severe ASD with those obtained from neurotypical children, looking for molecular signatures of dysbiosis in ASD.