Last week I attended an incredibly inspiring meeting of Australian early and mid-career researchers working in the microbiome field, an initiative of the Australian Academy of Sciences. Many of the studies presented (like those described below) were very much in development, so had little or no data available. However this field is moving quickly, and we will see results in the coming months and years.
The poster I presented outlines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the gut-brain-microbiome axis. It is an exciting field with huge potential, but also more than its fair share of complexities and challenges. I also describe two large studies I am involved in that seek to understand the role of the microbiome in human mental health. This is an important step for the science, since the best studies so far are in animal models or very small human samples.