Prof Julian Marchesi

Imperial College London, UK

Professor Marchesi graduated from Cardiff University with a Ph.D. in biochemistry (1992) and became interested in the role bacteria play in ecosystem function. During his post-doctoral years he developed an interest in the contribution of uncultured microbes to the maintenance and function of ecosystems i.e. molecular microbial ecology. He subsequently secured a Wellcome Trust Fellowship, which extended his molecular microbial ecology interest and investigated, with culture independent methods, the diversity and distribution of genes involved in biodegradation of priority pollutants in pristine environments. After a short time investigating the deep biosphere he obtained a Lectureship (2001) in the Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Ireland where he transferred these “omic” skills into the human gut and started to investigate the human gut ecosystem in health and disease. After 7 years in UCC, he moved back to Cardiff University in 2008 to a senior lectureship, where he started investigating the role of the gut microbiome in maintaining host health and initiating diseases not only of the gut, but throughout the host system.  In 2013 he was promoted to Reader and also took a half time Readership in Digestive Health at Imperial College London. This work uses a variety of “omic” approaches such as metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabonomics, organoid culture and molecular ecology.  In 2015 and 2016 he was promoted to Professor of Human Microbiome Research at Cardiff University and Professor of Clinical Microbiome Research at Imperial College London, respectively.  His work uses a variety of “omic” approaches such as metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabonomics, organoid culture and molecular ecology.  His focus is on how the microbiome influences the initiation of gut diseases, such as IBD and cancer and how it drives and supports disease progression and therapies.  His is currently using a variety of ‘omic approaches to investigate these questions both here in ICL and Cardiff University. Notable achievements include the first publication on the colorectal cancer microbiome and the realisation that the microbiome is different on the tumour compared to off and this may be used to diagnose the tumour’s development.