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UNC Microbiome Core

The mission of the UNC Microbiome Core is to provide the research community with the facilities and expertise to characterize complex microbial communities and microbial interactions. The Core has state of the art instrumentation and extensively trained personnel that provide support from experimental design to data analysis
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  • Is freedom of expression dead?

    A string of events in the wake of the Israel-Palestine war has me questioning if our rights as academics to speak our minds are in danger. The Harvard student, who lost a job offer because she voiced her support for Palestine. A prominent and well-known scientist, Michael Eisen, was fired as Editor in Chief from … Read more

  • Fermented Foods Journal

    How Fermented Foods Feed a Healthy Gut Microbiota

    A Nutrition Continuum Editors: Azcarate-Peril, M. Andrea, Arnold, Roland R., Bruno-Bárcena, José M. (Eds.) Compares traditional forms of food preparation with current industrial techniques in terms of the potential loss of microbial diversity associated with industrialization.

Meet the Director

Dr. M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril


M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril, Ph. D. is Associate Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Azcarate-Peril currently conducts research in modulation of the host-associated microbiota by prebiotics and probiotics. She has extensive experience in physiology and functional genomics of probiotic strains. Dr. Azcarate-Peril uses molecular biology, genomics, and next-generation sequencing tools to address questions relevant to the role of the intestinal microbiota in human health and disease.

Meet the Team

The North Carolina Microbiome Consortium

Mission and Goals

The North Carolina Microbiome Consortium provides the opportunity for interested and committed participants in academia, industry and the public to seek and share knowledge concerning the science of the microbiome. It seeks to foster interdisciplinary connections among scientists in diverse fields who share a common interest in microbial communities and with those who develop the tools needed to study and understand these communities. By coming together in this common pursuit of knowledge and the exchange of ideas, participants acknowledge the depth of local expertise; seek to establish North Carolina as a recognized leader in microbiome research and innovation, and aim to create greater opportunities for microbiome research and related industries in the state.

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Beneficial Modulators of the Gut Microbiota

The overall goal of my 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). I specifically aim to develop prebiotic and probiotic interventions as alternatives to traditional treatments for microbiota-health related conditions, and to advance microbiota-based health surveillance methods.

Aljumaah MR, Bhatia U, Roach J, Gunstad J, Azcarate Peril MA. The microbiome, mild cognitive impairment, and probiotics: A randomized clinical trial in middle-aged and older adults. Clin Nutr. 2022 Nov;41(11):2565-2576. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2022.09.012. Epub 2022 Sep 28. PMID: 36228569.
Arnold JW, Roach J, Fabela S, Moorfield E, Ding S, Blue E, Dagher S, Magness S, Tamayo R, Bruno-Barcena JM, Azcarate-Peril MA. The pleiotropic effects of prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides on the aging gut. Microbiome. 2021 Jan 28;9(1):31. doi: 10.1186/s40168-020-00980-0. Erratum in: Microbiome. 2021 Feb 26;9(1):56. PMID: 33509277; PMCID: PMC7845053.
Arnold JW, Whittington HD, Dagher SF, Roach J, Azcarate-Peril MA, Bruno-Barcena JM. Safety and Modulatory Effects of Humanized Galacto-Oligosaccharides on the Gut Microbiome. Front Nutr. 2021 Apr 7;8:640100. doi:10.3389/fnut.2021.640100. PMID: 33898497; PMCID: PMC8058378.

See recent research publications

Thank you for using the UNC Microbiome Core. Please acknowledge the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease (CGIBD P30 DK034987) and the UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC P30 DK056350) in your publications