Jennifer Monk | Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

Jennifer Monk

Portrait of Professor Jennifer Monk


Human Health & Nutritional Sciences, Nutrition and Nutraceutical Sciences

About my research…

My research program focuses on understanding the influence of non-digestible dietary components (e.g. carbohydrates, protein and fatty acids) on microbial-host interactions, mucosal immune function and intestinal health. Microbial fermentation of non-digested dietary components produces bioactive metabolites and depending on the microbiome composition, the profile of metabolites produced and their subsequent effects on the host can be beneficial or adverse. Therefore, my program studies the effects of these diet-derived metabolites on epithelial barrier integrity (the source of a "leaky gut"), immunological tolerance and metabolic function to better inform dietary intake recommendations to ultimately promote intestinal health.

How my research improves life…

A leaky gut is a central component of many chronic diseases. Identifying the mechanisms through which dietary components can improve intestinal health represents an alternative approach for both chronic disease prevention and intervention.