Dr Paul Forsythe is Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator at the McMaster Brain-Body Institute, St Joseph’s Healthcare and Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, McMaster University, Canada. He has a strong interest in neural regulation of immunity, which he pursued during his PhD at Queen’s University Belfast and Post-Doctoral studies at the University of Alberta. His current research explores the neuro-immuno-endocrine super-system in the context of the holobiont, with a particular focus on identifying mechanisms underlying the influence of gut microbes, and their products, on the development and progression of diverse pathophysiological responses such as allergy, inflammation and mood disorders.
Paul will join the Gut-brain axis workshop on June 7:
Changes in gut microbiota can modulate the peripheral and central nervous systems, resulting in altered brain function, and suggesting the existence of a microbiota gut-brain axis. This is an exploding field with popular appeal engendering hopes, as well as skepticism. Recent evidence in rodents, and data derived from studies in humans, support microbe-based interventions for stress-related disorders and offer insights as to pathways involved. Such studies demonstrate that despite the complexity of the gut microbiota, exposure to a single microbial strain can protect against certain stress-induced behaviours and systemic immune alterations. Evidence also suggests a potential role of early-life antibiotic use in the development of neuropsychiatric disorders, and the possible attenuation of these by beneficial bacteria.