Dr Elena Verdu   Prebiotics and probiotics in coeliac disease. What is the evidence?


Elena VerduDr. Elena Verdu obtained a medical degree in Argentina before embarking on a research career at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland where she earned a doctorate in human physiology. Funded by a UNESCO fellowship, Dr. Verdu pursued a Ph.D. degree in immunology and gnotobiology at the Czech Academy of Science on the effect of commensal bacterial antigens in inflammatory bowel disease and coeliac disease. She then trained as a post-doctoral at McMaster University, where her work focused on beneficial (probiotic) bacteria and their effect on gut function and inflammation. In 2006 Dr. Verdu was appointed faculty at McMaster University, where she developed a program to investigate diet-microbe-host interactions in gastroenterology. Her research aims at deciphering commensal and opportunistic pathogen metabolism of dietary antigens, such as gluten. She is director of the Axenic and Gnotobiotic facility, and the Associate Director of the Farncombe Institute at McMaster University. She has been honored by the New Investigator Award (Canadian Celiac Association; CCA), the Master’s Award in Gastroenterology in Basic Science (American Gastroenterology Association), the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) Young Investigator Award, the CAG Research Excellence Award, and the Crohn’s and Colitis of Canada (CCC)-Pfeizer Women in IBD: Outstanding Research Achievement Award. Currently she holds the rank of full professor and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Microbial Therapeutics and Nutrition in Gastroenterology.