Early Life Development of the Gut Microbiome and its Health Implications

Presentation by Christopher Stewart, PhD.

During the presentation, Dr. Stewart will discuss the following:

  • What is the microbiome and its importance in early life
    • Techniques to profile the microbiome
  • How the gut microbiome develops in term infants
  • Influence of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) on the gut microbiome of term infants
  • Importance of the microbiome in preterm infants
  • HMOs in preterm infant health
  • Tissue derived organoids for studying host-microbiome interaction


There is a Q&A session at the end of the presentation.

About the Speaker:

Christopher Stewart, PhD

Newcastle University Academic Track Fellow (NUAcT)

Working within the Faculty of Medical Sciences

Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK


Chris has researched the early life microbiome in health and disease for the past decade, specializing on infants born premature (<32 weeks gestation). In that time, he has published over 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has regularly presented his work at national and international conferences. Following his PhD and a Fellowship in the UK, he moved to Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX) as a Post-Doctoral Associate, performing both computational and wet-lab experimentation. He then moved to Newcastle University (England, UK) in January 2018 as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellow and is currently building his lab focused on microbial-host interaction in the gut. Within preterm infants, his research group is focused on necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and late onset sepsis (LOS). By applying state-of-the-art sequencing to clinical samples collected at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (Newcastle upon Tyne), his research has shown that specific components of human breast milk and infant gut microbes are associated with protection from both NEC and LOS. Using a recently developed model that combines human preterm intestinal cells alongside viable microbes, his group is now researching host-microbial interaction to better understand how the microbiome contributes to health and disease in preterm infants.