Editorial Advisors

Gerard Clarke

Gerard Clarke is a Professor of Neurobehavioural Science in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioural Science, and a Principal Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland at University College Cork. His research interests include the impact of the gut microbiome on brain and behaviour across the life span, microbial regulation of tryptophan metabolism and translational biomarkers of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders. His approach is based on advancing frontier knowledge in microbiome research to yield potential new therapeutic targets for effective treatment of central nervous system disorders.

Sheena Fraser

Sheena is a GP partner, trainer with a special interest in dermatology, minor surgery, Lifestyle medicine and microbiome science. She lives and works in Glasgow but completed her medical training in Sheffield. Her interest in Lifestyle medicine and microbiome science started in 2018 when she attended her first BSLM conference. She has since completed her diploma in lifestyle medicine, lectured in sleep, has taken part in a sleep and microbiome webinars for BSLM in 2021 and has chaired and presented at the 2021 annual BSLM conference. She writes regular blogs for BSLM on lifestyle related topics and has just taken on the role of BSLM representative for the LMBRC version 4. She has also been involved in the medical training of GP trainees and regularly lectures in Dermatology, lifestyle medicine and microbiome science. She is passionate about preventative medicine and applying lifestyle medicine with her patients so started a patient walking group in April 2021, which meets once a week.

For the last 2 years she has been writing a course on microbiome science in collaboration with BSLM. The aim of which is to bring the knowledge of microbiome science to more health professionals. This is something she is particularly passionate about since her own clinical practice has changed so greatly with my new found microbiome knowledge. Her interest in this and sleep has brought her to Neurodigest where she is delighted to meet more like minded colleagues. She is a keen cook, and a director of a community interest cook school – Kaleyard. She spends her leisure time gardening, hillwalking and running, cycling, swimming, and doing HIIT and yoga classes with her family who are just as active.

Miguel Toribio-Mateas

Miguel is a clinical neuroscientist with a longstanding professional background in  making sense of the complex relationships between food and behaviour on the gut microbiota and the brain via the gut-brain axis.

Miguel’s trandisciplinary approach to research and its translation allows knowledge from his degrees in business, human nutrition, complexity science, and neuroscience to converge with his lived experience as a person with a neurological condition, ADHD which enables him to see things from a neurodivergent / neurodiverse perspective.

In his recent doctorate on the gut microbiome and brain health, he proposed a system whereby correlating real-world data from microbiome analysis and patient-reported health-related quality of life outcomes could help highlight the all-important role of the individual in person-centred neuroscience and neurology care. Miguel is driven by research that brings about participation and collaboration amongst different stakeholder groups, creating a level-playing field where patients are seen as people with a story to tell that should inform their care. He is also an advocate for bridging the gap between academic research and industry applications, particularly in the development of products and services that enhance our physical and mental health. That is the focus of his work at the School of Applied Sciences, London South Bank University, where he is involved in a series of small-scale gut-brain axis clinical trials grounded in real-world settings.

Nick Peake

Nick’s research background has involved studying the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in a wide range of pathological states. The ECM is a mesh-like network of molecules that provides structural support to tissues, as well as delivering biochemical and biomechanical cues to cells embedded within it. His current research at SHU focuses on the tissue environment of the gastrointestinal tract, and he is particularly interested in how cellular communication takes place within complex, ECM-dense tissues, and how the ECM is both altered in disease states and shapes disease progression.

Nick is a committee member for the UK Extracellular Vesicle (UKEV) Society, and reviewer for a range of funding bodies and academic publications across these interests in gut biology, cancer progression and EV research. He contributes to public engagement events to raise wider awareness of these important topics, and run gut-related research cluster events to promote multi-disciplinary conversations across SHU, Sheffield, and beyond.

Prof. Dr. Paul Enck

Paul trained in science at Johns Hopkin University in the US with W.E. Whitehead in 1983 and 1984, Ph.D. at the University of Tübingen in 1985, working in the Gastroenterology Department at the University Hospitals Düsseldorf, Germany between 1985 and 1998, then head of research at the Department of General Surgery, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany 1998 to 2004, and from 2004 until 2019 Director of Research, Dept. of Internal Medicine VI (Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy), where he still maintains an affiliation. His main interests are gut functions in health and disease, including functional and inflammatory bowel disorders, the role of the gut microbiota, regulation of eating and food intake and its disorders, of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness, and the psychophysiology and neurobiology of the placebo response, with some emphasis on sex differences. He has published 250 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, 350 review articles and book chapters, and more than 100 popular science articles on various topics, lately also historical subjects. He was long-term board member and treasurer of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, the German Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and The Society of Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies, and has served as reviewer for many national and international journals and grant agencies.  

Valentina Leta

Valentina is a neurologist currently working as a clinical PhD fellow at the Parkinson’s Foundation Centre of Excellence, King’s College Hospital and King’s College London, London (UK) and as a movement disorders consultant neurologist at the Princess Royal University Hospital, London (UK).  Valentina graduated in Medicine from the University of Bologna (Italy) in 2013 successfully defending the thesis entitled ‘Skin-nerve α-synuclein deposits: a biomarker for Parkinson’s disease (PD)’. She then completed her clinical training in Neurology at the University of Milan (Italy) with the thesis ‘Intrajejunal levodopa infusion combined with Catechol-O-Methyl-Transferase-inhibition: a new therapeutic strategy in advanced PD’.

Valentina is interested in both motor and non-motor aspects of movement disorders, with a focus on autonomic dysfunction in PD. She is currently working on her PhD project on gastrointestinal dysfunction, inflammation and gut dysbiosis in PD under the supervision of Prof Chaudhuri. Valentina is currently Principal Investigator of the Sunovion CTH-302 and CTH-301 trials at King’s College Hospital and sub-investigator of other clinical trials on PD.

She has been invited as a faculty member at national and international conferences, she is author of over 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals and a recognised teacher at King’s College London.  Valentina is a member of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (IPMDS), the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), the Italian Society of Neurology (SIN), and the LIMPE-DISMOV academy. She is also Junior Member Representative of the IPMDS Non-motor-PD-study group (NMPDSG) steering committee, a co-coordinator of the IPMDS-NMPDSG and of the themed subgroup ‘Autonomic dysfunction’ of the IPMDS-NMPDSG, and she has been recently selected for the IPMDS-LEAP Program 2021.