There is a topic about probiotics and prebiotics in my Nutraceuticals and Functional Food course (BSB3543), students were intrigued about the roles of probiotics in the gut community which eventually affect human health. I was glad to find out that Emma’s works are related to investigation of gut microbiome’s implication in health and disease, she even accepted my invitation to give an online seminar/classroom despite of her busy schedule.

In the online seminar/classroom, the relevancy of microbiome to human health was highlighted. Emma explained that the gut microbiome’s population are highly compositional and functional diverse as they are susceptible to several gut micro-environments (ie: residence time, stress factors in the upper digestive tract (physiochemical or enzymatic), presence of a variety of M-cells, mucus layer thickness of the gastrointestinal tract etc.). A dynamic monitoring of the gut microbiota is required when studying the impact of gut microbiome to human health, and it has to be correlated with changing environmental parameters. The students were introduced to several in vitro approaches in practice, and later focused on┬áMucosal simulator of the human intestinal microbial ecosystem (M-SHIME).

At the end of the lecture, Emma concluded that the gut microbiome could be the next frontier in the development of oral drugs. The presence of microbe and the population of microbe has a plausible effect on the post-delivery of drugs. A better understanding in the human gut microbiome can help in making predictions of drug response.

P/S: A big thank you again to Emma for making this happen, our first online seminar/classroom.


A Q&A session was held with Dr. Emma Hernandez-Sanabria right after her online seminar/classroom session.


A group picture with Dr. Emma with the BSB3543 class.
Pictures courtesy from Beh Yu Ling and Mohd Hamdi.






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