Dr. Alan Walker is a microbiologist with specific interests in the bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal tracts of mammalian hosts. After receiving a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology from the University of Aberdeen, he studied for his PhD at the Rowett Institute and at the University of Dundee, specialising in gut microbiology and the role that intestinal bacteria play in the breakdown of dietary fibre. Following his PhD, he spent eight years at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, a leading centre for genomic research, before moving to his current post as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen.
His current research uses a combination of state of the art anaerobic culturing and DNA sequencing techniques to better characterise gut microbial communities and shed light on the roles these microbes play both in health and in disease, for example by inhibiting pathogenic microbes. We collaborate with the Aberdeen Fungal Group, and are particularly interested in identifying the specific microbes, and mechanisms, involved in antagonistic activity against Candida albicans in the colon.
Chung, WSF., Walker, AW., Vermeiren, J., Sheridan, PO., Bosscher, D., Garcia-Campayo, V., Parkhill, J., Flint, HJ. & Duncan, SH. (2019). 'Impact of carbohydrate substrate complexity on the diversity of the human colonic microbiota'. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, vol. 95, no. 1, fiy201.
Walker, AW. (2018). 'Studying the microbiome and its complexities: an interview with Alan Walker'. BMC Biology, vol. 16, no. 1, 134.
Dalby, MJ., Aviello, G., Ross, AW., Walker, AW., Barrett, P. & Morgan, PJ. (2018). 'Diet induced obesity is independent of metabolic endotoxemia and Tlr4 signalling, but markedly increases hypothalamic expression of the acute phase protein, SerpinA3N’'. Scientific Reports, vol. 8, 15648, pp. 1-15.