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Gut Microbiota for Health Expert Panel

The Gut Microbiota for Health Expert Panel represents a group of multi-disciplinary members (including primary and secondary care clinicians, microbiologists, dietitians and research scientists) with expertise and interest in the gut microbiota and its role in health and disease. The Group is under the auspices of the British Society of Gastroenterology Research Committee.

The group was formed in 2013 and now includes over 50 members who meet twice a year, arrange meetings and workshops on key topics related to the microbiota and publish articles in high impact journals, as well as writing articles to enhance understanding with the public. As the Group has grown, it is now organised into Special Interest Groups (SIGs) but maintains the over-arching meetings to ensure continuity and sharing of expertise and interest.

The goals of the group are: to increase awareness and understanding among clinicians of the gut microbiota and its impact on health; to be a ‘go-to’ address for clinicians (GPs, gastroenterologists, nurses and allied health professionals) for defining what is currently reliably known in this field; and to drive scientific and academic interest in the gut microbiota primarily in gastrointestinal and liver disease – although our SIGs also cover nutrition, the gut-brain axis and infectious disease. Our website (https://www.bsg.org.uk/research/gut-microbiota-for-health-expert-panel.html) lists links to up-to-date papers selected by the SIG as being particularly relevant and topical. Each SIG will take turns to post articles here with news of developments in this rapidly evolving field of biology.

In particular, the group aims to:

  • To map the science and reach consensus on what is known and what is not yet known
  • To develop guidelines to promote good practice
  • To draft consensus statements on areas of interest for UK GPs
  • To identify gaps in knowledge and research foci
  • To identify research and development areas in this field that would advance understanding and lead to patient benefit


The BSG committee on the Gut Microbiota for Health (GMfH) has now entered its seventh year and it is with great pleasure that I write this update. After its launch in 2013, the panel has continued to grow and make impacts in the area of gut microbiome research and outreach.  One of the committee’s aims is to maximise the message on the importance of the gut microbiome in clinical settings and to provide information based on the best available evidence in forms that meet the needs of all levels of clinical service.  To meet this aim we are actively recruiting clinical practitioners from primary care, nursing and trainees, to understand how we can help support better understanding and fill knowledge gaps.  Moreover, we are trying to expand our understanding in areas that we feel are currently not as well served, for example the paediatric gut and its development, drug metabolism and the gut microbiota, novel treatments for gut disorders and the gut-liver axis.

A notable success for the committee was the publication of a set of national guidelines, written and driven by a significant set of members from the GMfH committee.  The guidelines dealt with Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) for Clostridiodes difficile associated infections.  The comprehensive guidelines were published in the peer-reviewed international journal Gut, as an open access paper. At the other end of the scale, in collaboration with the charity Guts UK, we will soon publish a general interest pamphlet on “testing your poo”.  These two examples show that the GMfH committee is aiming to reach anyone interested in the role of the gut microbiota in health – clinicians, researchers, patients or general public. For the forthcoming year we will be engaging with primary health care workers, both nurses and GPs, to try and understand how we can help them to bring knowledge of the gut microbiota to this group of healthcare workers and onwards to the public.


On the expert side we recently held the 2nd BSG workshop on FMT at Birmingham University’s Medical School.  Our host Prof. Tariq Iqbal and his colleagues hosted a morning session of talks that included regulatory as well as practical aspects of delivering an FMT, and an afternoon roundtable discussion looking at research in one session and the practicalities of FMT in another.  A report of this workshop will soon be submitted to a major gastroenterology journal.

Going forward, the GMfH committee and its members are aiming to write more reviews of the topics on the microbiome in the developing paediatric gut, the gut liver axis, how drugs and the gut bacteria interact with one another.  Some of these articles will be scientific reviews while others will be aimed at GPs. If you are interested in the panel, or have suggestions for future projects, please contact us.

Professor Julian Marchesi

Chair, Gut Microbiota for Health Expert Panel

October 2019

The group has been successful in achieving several publications for the clinical and scientific audience, as well as the public. The group published a major scientific review in GUT, “The gut microbiota and host health: A new clinical frontier” (Marchesi et al. GUT 2016; 65:330-339), which is in the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric. In this article, the group outlines: the current understanding of the gut microbiota; dietary modulation of the microbiota; assesses the role of probiotics, prebiotics and polyphenols; and describes obesity-related diseases, liver disease, inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer and the microbiota.
The article “The ecologist will see you now” outlines for the public some of the fascinating facts about the microbiota, explaining that “we’re not individuals, we’re ecosystems full of bacteria and understanding how these microbes interact with our bodies is set to transform medicine”.
The group published a systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy of faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for the treatment of recurrent and refractory Clostridium difficile infection (Quraishi et al. APT 2017; 46:479-493) and is currently completing a comprehensive NICE-approved FMT practice guideline, which is a joint BSG/HIS venture. It is aimed to publish this in 2018.
The Group has contributed to two successful BSG Research Workshops: “The Microbiome, Dysbiosis and GI Disease” (11 April 2014) and “Faecal Microbiota Transplantation: Bench, Bedside, Courtroom?” 11 September 2015. In 2018 we plan to hold a workshop focussed on developing a national FMT service, which will follow the annual BSG meeting in Liverpool (details to follow).
The Group is also developing a review for primary care professionals, explaining the current understanding of the gut microbiota’s impact on gut disorders.
This is an exciting and fast evolving area of research and the Group welcome involvement from interested colleagues in this multi-disciplinary field.

Professor Tariq Iqbal

Chair, Gut Microbiota for Health Expert Panel

Current Members

Member Position
Julian R. Marchesi (Chair; Cardiff University / Imperial College London) Darina Kohotouva (The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust)
Nigel Klein (Vice-Chair; University College London) Nigel Klein (University College London)
Tariq Iqbal (Chair Emeritus; University Hospital Birmingham) Trevor Lawley (Sanger Institute, Cambridge)
Dagmar Alber (UCL Great Ormond Institute of Child Health) Giles Major (University of Nottingham)
Ramesh Arasaradnam (University of Warwick) Victoria McCune (PHE Birmingham)
Qasim Aziz (Royal London Hospital) Pamela McDonald-Kuhne (Durham University)
Mona Bajaj-Elliott (UCL Great Ormond Institute of Child Health) Patricia Macnair (PCSG)
Kelly Bicknell (Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth) John McLaughlin (University of Manchester)
Judith Breuer (University College London) Ben Mullish (Imperial College London)
Matthew Brookes (The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust) Ann Muls (The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust)
Barry Campbell (University of Liverpool) Mohammed Nabil Quraishi (University of Birmingham)
Simon Carding (Institute for Food Research, Norwich) Arjan Narbad (Institute of Food Research, Norwich)
Bernard Corfe (University of Sheffield) Sarah O’Brien (University of Liverpool)
Jamie Dalrymple (PCSG) Vishal Patel (KCL Institute of Liver Studies)
Ted Dinan (University College Cork) Ian Roberts (University of Manchester)
Ngozi Elumgo (Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals) Ian Rowland (formerly University of Reading)
Andrew Flatt (Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth) Jonathan Segal (Imperial College London)
Konstantinos Gerasimidis (University of Glasgow) Naveen Sharma (Heart of England NHS Foundation)
Rohma Ghani (Imperial College London) Debbie Shawcross (King’s College London)
Simon Goldenberg (Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust) Liz Sheridan (Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)
Julie Harrington (Guts UK) Jonathan Sutton (Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor)
Dean Harris (Swansea University) Jonathan Swann (Imperial College London)
Ailsa Hart (former Chair; St Mark’s Hospital, Harrow) Kevin Whelan (King’s College London)
Peter Hawkey (University of Birmingham) Leila White (Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
Gideon Hirschfield (University of Birmingham) Peter Whorwell (University of Manchester)
Georgina Hold (University of Aberdeen) Horace Williams (Imperial College London)
Pali Hungin (Durham University) Charlotte Woodhouse (Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust)
Brian Jones (University of Brighton) Secretariat: Linda Thomas (Society for Applied Microbiology).



A cross disciplinary education & interest group under the auspices of the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG Research Committee)

  • To help increase awareness and understanding among clinicians of the gut microbiota and its impact on health
  • To be a ‘go-to’ address for UK clinicians (GPs, gastroenterologists, nurses and allied health professionals) for defining what is currently reliably known in this field
  • To drive scientific and clinical interest in the gut microbiota in gastrointestinal and liver disease, including those with an autoimmune element