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Associate Professor of Medicine Director of UNC Microbiome Core

Areas of Interest

Gut microbiome, Probiotics, Prebiotics, Beneficial modulation of the gut microbiome


A microbiologist by training, she has extensive experience in bacterial physiology and the microbes in the gut. Her research projects have focused on functional genomics of probiotics and gut microbiome modulation by prebiotics for over 20 years, resulting in over 90 peer-reviewed publications. The overall goal of her research is to investigate the impact and mechanisms involved in the beneficial modulation of the gut microbiota by prebiotics (functional foods that stimulate growth of gut native beneficial bacteria) and probiotics (live bacteria that benefit their host). She specifically aims to develop prebiotic and probiotic interventions as alternatives to traditional treatments for microbiota-health related conditions, and to advance microbiota-based health surveillance methods. Dr. Azcarate is passionate about how nutrition and healthy eating impact our gut microbes and overall health.

Education and Training

  • UndergraduateUniversidad Nacional de Misiones (Argentina)
  • Graduate DegreePhD Universidad Nacional de Tucuman (Argentina)

Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food. – Hippocrates

M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril, Ph. D.