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Estaki, Mehrbod


Research Topic: The role of physical activity in altering intestinal microbial ecology and its consequences on normal host functions

Research Location: Kelowna, BC

Research Supervisor: Dr. Deanna Gibson

Headshot - Mehrbod EstakiResearch Description:

The human intestine is host to trillions of bacteria that play a crucial role in gut homeostasis and  overall health. The aim of my thesis is to determine how physical activity influences the overall  microbial ecology of intestines. In addition, we are interested in exploring whether such changes can yield benefits to the host, for example against intestinal damage.

Home Town: Oakville, Ontario

Country: Canada

Faculty/School: Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences

Program: Doctor of Philosophy in Biology

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

Curiosity and ingenuity are the tools of human advancement. To me, research comes with a great sense of fulfillment as it allows one to push the boundaries of our collective knowledge and introduce novel concepts to the world. I have never been satisfied with the status quo, and so pursuing a career in academia is the only way I know to change that.

Why did you decide to study at UBC's Okanagan campus?

As a young university, UBC Okanagan holds tremendous potential for research with state of the art facilities and a world class faculty. The small size of our faculties allows for unique collaborations amongst disciplines that are typically considered unrelated. For example, we have ongoing collaborations branching between human physiology, ecology, and microbiology.

What impact do you hope your research will have?

The ultimate goal of my research is to develop the fundamental knowledge needed in connecting host health with intestinal microbiota by means of physical activity. An example of the impact of this research is to provide scientific evidence to support legislation's that improve animal health in research and agricultural settings by providing them with free access to physical activity.

What has been your most memorable Okanagan experience so far?

The Okanagan is one of the most pristine places I have ever been to. It's unique natural beauty is hard to match anywhere; to pick one experience would be doing it a great injustice.


NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship






Last reviewed shim11/20/2015 2:31:27 PM