Skip to content

Melissa Carmichael, Molecular & Cellular Biology

Melissa Carmichael by trail sign

Hello! My name is Melissa Carmichael and I study the gut microbiome of people with cystic fibrosis. Imagine your gut is a bustling city, a community containing hundreds of tiny residents – bacteria, fungi, viruses – that work together in harmony. This community, known as your gut microbiome, plays a crucial role in maintaining our gut and overall health. Like cities, some microbes are good neighbors, helping us digest food, generate vitamins, and support our immune system. However, others can be bad neighbors or troublemakers, potentially causing discomfort. Researchers like me study this microbial metropolis to understand its impact on our well-being. We’re like detectives, exploring how the balance of good and not-so-good microbes can influence everything from our digestion to our mood. In my research, I study the gut microbiome of people with cystic fibrosis. People with cystic fibrosis often have alterations in the types and amounts of good and not-so-good microbes within their gut. These changes can sometimes lead to imbalances that might affect digestion, nutrient absorption, and even problems with the immune system. This can manifest in symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea. In my research, I work hard to understand what causes these disruptions in the microbial community, known as dysbiosis, or the altered balance of “good” and “not-so-good” microbes. By studying their gut microbiomes, we hope to find new ways to improve the health and well-being of people with cystic fibrosis.