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I am a Research Fellow in Human Sciences at the School of Applied Sciences. I lecture in microbiome science and mental health for the Biomedical Science degree and I co-direct the new MRes / PhD “Gut Microbiome Science & Application” programme. My key areas of expertise are:
• The microbiome in health and disease.
• Gut-brain communication by means of the microbiota-gut-brain axis.
• Microbial signatures characterising neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as in neurodevelopmental disorders such as Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
• Microbial signatures in both positive and pathological mental health.
• Food-microbiota-mood interactions.
I started my work at LSBU as Innovation Consultant at the London Agri-Food Innovation Clinic (LAFIC) in 2018 whilst co-creating the Bowels and Brains Lab with a grant from the European Regional Development Fund alongside my colleague Adri Bester, Enterprise Lead for the School of Applied Sciences. Shortly after I was awarded a visiting fellowship through which I have been focusing on the study of the effects of food and lifestyle interventions on mood, cognition, and behaviour via the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Hallmarks of my work are the use of self-reported outcome measures with psychometric validity alongside microbial biomarkers, as well as the integration of qualitative research methods that capture participant insight. I am committed to making my research work more inclusive of the participant and to unpacking power dynamics in research by doing research "with people", as opposed to "on people".
I was given the Santander Universities "Work-Based Learning Award" at Middlesex Universities for my doctoral research (2016-2021), which focused on the microbiota-gut-brain axis and its interface with mood, cognition, and mental / brain health. I have continued to study the associations between microbiome-based markers such as microbial diversity, microbiota composition, microbial metabolites (short chain fatty acids, markers of mucosal barrier integrity, etc.) and domains of cognition such as memory and focus, as well as the quality of life / severity of symptoms in neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD.
Additional research interests include the effects of music - both playing and listening - on psychosocial stress, psychological resilience, happiness, as well as the role of music in transpersonal experiences.
I have developed academically whilst I worked in a variety of industry roles, from product development in scientific publishing to research and development in biotech, speaking at events as far afield as Jordan to the East and Silicon Valley to the West. I have also worked as part of multi-disciplinary mental health clinical teams, and lately designed and delivered a nutritional neuroscience programme for enhanced cognitive performance to one of the world's leading financial corporations, based in the City of London.
Alongside my academic work, I am the Head of R&D for sustainable fermented food manufacturer Chuckling Goat, leading the development of real-world, person-centred microbiome-based interventions in partnership with LSBU.
I also sit on the steering committee of the Primary-Care and Community Neurology Society (known as the Person-Centred Neurosciences Society) and am a Lifestyle Health Ambassador Leader for the Lifestyle Health Foundation.
Biomedical Sciences - BSc (Hons)
Human Sciences MRes
School of Health & Education, Middlesex University
University of West London
The Open University
London South Bank University
Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
Doctoral supervisor, Transdisciplinary Doctorates
Masters supervisor, Transdisciplinary Practice MSc
Head of Research and Development
Recent outputs of that interface between my academic work and my professional practice include the co-creation of a real world data pipeline with the Department of Pathology / Genomic Services at Cambridge University, using complex data algorithms to enable the identification of emerging association patterns between real world data points such as patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and self-reported quality of life measures, etc. with neuroscience / microbiology biomarkers arising from direct-to-consumer microbiome tests that are being used to collect data for microbiome studies in collaboration with LSBU.
Steering Committee member
The P-CNS has become the leading voice to support the connecting up of neurology care between Primary Care and the wider neurology community, which includes both heath professionals and non health professionals living with neurological conditions.
The P-CNS’s vision, which acknowledges the significance of learning through lived experiences, is to provide sustainable, consistent, and high-quality care and education services that consider and support the individual needs of the person so they can live well in the community with suspected or confirmed neurological conditions.
Impact of Plant-Based Meat Alternatives on the Gut Microbiota of Consumers: A Real-World Study
Toribio-Mateas, M., Bester, A. and Klimenko, N. (2021). Impact of Plant-Based Meat Alternatives on the Gut Microbiota of Consumers: A Real-World Study. Foods (Basel, Switzerland). 10 (9), p. 2040. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092040
Diet and the microbiome in precision medicine
Toribio-Mateas, M. and Bester, A. (2021). Diet and the microbiome in precision medicine. in: Faintuch, Joel and Faintuch, Salomao (ed.) Precision Medicine for Investigators, Practitioners and Providers Academic Press. pp. 445-452
Reference values for intake of 6 types of soluble and insoluble fibre in healthy UK inhabitants based on the UK Biobank data.
Shevlyakov, A., Nikogosov, D., Stewart, Leigh-Ann and Toribio-Mateas, M. (2021). Reference values for intake of 6 types of soluble and insoluble fibre in healthy UK inhabitants based on the UK Biobank data. Public health nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980021002524
Harnessing the Power of Microbiome Assessment Tools as Part of Neuroprotective Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine Interventions
Toribio-Mateas, M (2018). Harnessing the Power of Microbiome Assessment Tools as Part of Neuroprotective Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine Interventions. Microorganisms. 6 (2), pp. 35-35. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms6020035