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Mackay lab news

Professor Mackay’s ground-breaking work has featured prominently in many outlets, and he is willing to engage with the media. Here are a few highlights.

News and outreach highlights

  • The influence of diet-induced gut microbiota changes on autoimmune disease: March 2019. Featured on the site Gut Microbiota for Health, Professor Mackay points to the gut microbiota as a key player in the rise of autoimmune diseases.
  • Mums clamour for Aussie breast feeding probiotic, October 2018. Featured in The Age and four of its syndicated newspapers, Professor Mackay was asked to comment on the benefits of a probiotic used by mothers suffering from mastitis. Professor Mackay provided comment on probiotics in general, rather than the specific breastfeeding probiotic mentioned in the article. He stated that while the benefits of probiotics are yet to be proven, he thinks it likely they will be extremely beneficial, going on to say that more research is needed to provide evidence of this.
  • Science foments fermented fad, February 2018. Featured in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times, and interviewed on multiple radio stations, Professor Mackay offered expert opinion on upcoming large-scale clinical trials, focused on the affects of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) on health. Professor Mackay believes SCFAs may be linked to many diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, food allergies, hypertension, cancers of the gut, liver diseases, Type 1 diabetes, Alzheimer's, cardiovascular and kidney disease and more. These clinical trials could prove to be the dawn of the era of medicinal foods.
  • Gut Feelings, June 2017. Featured in The West Australian, Professor Mackay talks about how a healthy gut is fundamental for good health: it’s where food is broken down, nutrients are absorbed and the immune system is trained and regulated. The loss of diversity in our microbiota contributes to many health problems, ranging from asthma to diabetes, cardiovascular disease to Crohn's disease.
  • How Mothers’ gut bacteria impacts her children: November 2017. Journalists from a number of media outlets sought expert commentary from Professor Mackay on a preclinical study on the effect a mother's gut microbiome before and during pregnancy has on the future health of her children. Quoted in Mouth of Mums, Professor Mackay said there were two ways to improve gut health: changing diet through “prebiotic food”, the dietary fibres that act as fertiliser for the good bacteria in the gut, and also by introducing new bacteria and probiotic supplements.
  • ‘Medicinal food’ diet counters onset of type 1 diabetes: April 2017. The role of the microbiome in health and disease is one of the major research developments of the last five years. Dr Eliana Mariño and Professor Charles Mackay’s research on how the gut microbiome can protect against type 1 diabetes was reported globally on many print, radio and TV outlets, including Ten News TV and ABC radio, The Guardian (UK), 9News, World News Australia and many more. The research was an international effort, with findings published in Nature immunology. The work was strongly supported by the JDRF, Diabetes Australia Research Trust, and the NHMRC.

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