Orla O’Sullivan

Senior Computational Biologist, Teagasc Food Research Centre and APC Microbiome, Ireland

Orla is a Senior Computational Biologist in Teagasc Food Research Centre and the APC Microbiome Ireland. Orla graduated from UCC with a BSc in Biochemistry and subsequently a PhD in Bioinformatics. As of May 2018 Orla has a H-Index of 41 having published over 80 peer reviewed manuscripts resulting in nearly 8600 citations. Her research focuses on elucidating the microbiome from various environments including human gut and lung, rumen and food. Of particular interest to her is the role of exercise and diet, specifically whey protein, on the human gut microbiome both in healthy and diseased cohorts.

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The diet, exercise and gut microbiome paradigm

It has long been known that the human body is host to myriad of microbes that impact various aspects of health. Research by the APC Microbiome Institute and Teagasc reveals significant differences in the gut microbiome of elite athletes and the non-athletic population, which suggest that the microbiome is a major player in the relationship between exercise and health. Orla’s review of the research findings will examine the relationship between the microbiome, exercise and good health, and what it means for an industry that’s striving to develop nutritional products that will enhance athletic performance.

  • What we can learn from rugby players – what is driving their microbial diversity?
  • What about the rest of us? How the average microbiome compares to that of the elite athlete and can we train our microbiome.
  • Implications for industry – developing products that impact athletic gut health