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Dr Ruairi Robertson

Ruairi Robertson

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Blizard Institute
Queen Mary University of London



Gut microbiome, Microbiota, Environmental enteropathy, Gut physiology


My research examines the influence of the early life gut microbiome on child growth and development in the context of undernutrition. Our group has a particular interest in environmental enteric dysfunction (EED), a pathological intestinal condition that occurs in low-resource settings and is hypothesized to impact nutrient absorption and growth. I am interested in the potential to examine the interaction between the gut microbiome and intestinal function using organ-on-a-chip technologies.


Publications of specific relevance to Predictive in vitro Models


Robertson RC, Church JA, Edens TJ, Mutasa K, Min Geum H, Baharmand I, Gill SK, Ntozini R, Chasekwa B, Carr L, Majo FD, Kirkpatrick BD, Lee B, Moulton LH, Humphrey JH, Prendergast AJ and Manges AR (2021). The fecal microbiome and rotavirus vaccine immunogenicity in rural Zimbabwean infants. Vaccine  vol. 39, (38) 5391-5400. 10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.07.076
Thompson A, Bourke C, Roberston R, Shivakumar N, Edwards C, Preston T, Holmes E, Kelly M, Frost G, Morrison D and On behalf of the HUNGer Consortium (2021). Understanding the role of the gut in undernutrition: what can technology tell us? Bmj Publishing Group  Gut  10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323609
Gough EK, Edens TJ, Geum HM, Baharmand I, Gill SK, Robertson RC, Mutasa K, Ntozini R, Smith LE, Chasekwa B, Majo FD, Tavengwa NV, Mutasa B, Francis F, Carr L, Tome J, Stoltzfus RJ, Moulton LH, Prendergast AJ, Humphrey JH, Manges AR and Team ST (2021). Maternal fecal microbiome predicts gestational age, birth weight and neonatal growth in rural Zimbabwe. Ebiomedicine  vol. 68, 10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103421
Gharpure R, Mor SM, Viney M, Hodobo T, Lello J, Siwila J, Dube K, Robertson RC, Mutasa K, Berger CN, Hirai M, Brown T, Ntozini R, Evans C, Hoto P, Smith LE, Tavengwa NV, Joyeux M, Humphrey JH, Berendes D and Prendergast AJ (2021). A one health approach to child stunting: Evidence and research agenda. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene  vol. 104, (5) 1620-1624. 10.4269/ajtmh.20-1129
Althaus T, Chasekwa B, Robertson RC, Ntozini R, Greenland K, Humphrey JH and Prendergast AJ (2021). Associations between maternal obesity and infectious morbidity in Zimbabwean infants. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition  10.1038/s41430-021-00907-4


Nadimpalli ML, Bourke CD, Robertson RC, Delarocque-Astagneau E, Manges AR and Pickering AJ (2020). Can breastfeeding protect against antimicrobial resistance? Bmc Medicine  vol. 18, (1) 10.1186/s12916-020-01862-w
Robertson RC (2020). The Gut Microbiome in Child Malnutrition. 10.1159/000503352


Prendergast AJ, Gharpure R, Mor S, Viney M, Dube K, Lello J, Berger C, Siwila J, Joyeux M, Hodobo T, Hurt L, Brown T, Hoto P, Tavengwa N, Mutasa K, Craddock S, Chasekwa B, Robertson RC, Evans C, Chidhanguro D, Mutasa B, Majo F, Smith LE, Hirai M, Ntozini R, Humphrey JH and Berendes D (2019). Putting the “A” into WaSH: a call for integrated management of water, animals, sanitation, and hygiene. Elsevier  Lancet Planetary Health  vol. 3, (8) e336-e337. 10.1016/S2542-5196(19)30129-9
Robertson RC, Manges AR, Finlay BB and Prendergast AJ (2019). The Human Microbiome and Child Growth – First 1000 Days and Beyond. Trends in Microbiology  vol. 27, (2) 131-147. 10.1016/j.tim.2018.09.008
BOURKE CD, PRENDERGAST A and ROBERTSON R (2019). Health Outcomes, Pathogenesis and Epidemiology of Severe Acute Malnutrition (HOPE-SAM): rationale and methods of a longitudinal observational study. Bmj Journals  Bmj Open  10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023077


Robertson RC, Kaliannan K, Strain CR, Ross RP, Stanton C and Kang JX (2018). Maternal omega-3 fatty acids regulate offspring obesity through persistent modulation of gut microbiota. Microbiome  vol. 6, (1) 10.1186/s40168-018-0476-6


Robertson RC, Seira Oriach C, Murphy K, Moloney GM, Cryan JF, Dinan TG, Ross RP and Stanton C (2017). Deficiency of essential dietary n-3 PUFA disrupts the caecal microbiome and metabolome in mice. Br J Nutr  vol. 118, (11) 959-970. 10.1017/S0007114517002999
Robertson RC, Seira Oriach C, Murphy K, Moloney GM, Cryan JF, Dinan TG, Paul Ross R and Stanton C (2017). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids critically regulate behaviour and gut microbiota development in adolescence and adulthood. Brain Behav Immun  vol. 59, 21-37. 10.1016/j.bbi.2016.07.145


Pusceddu MM, Nolan YM, Green HF, Robertson RC, Stanton C, Kelly P, Cryan JF and Dinan TG (2016). The Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Reverses Corticosterone-Induced Changes in Cortical Neurons. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol  vol. 19, (6) 10.1093/ijnp/pyv130
Oriach CS, Robertson RC, Stanton C, Cryan JF and Dinan TG (2016). Food for thought: The role of nutrition in the microbiota-gut–brain axis. Clinical Nutrition Experimental  vol. 6, 25-38. 10.1016/j.yclnex.2016.01.003


Ordovás JM, Robertson R and Cléirigh EN (2011). Gene-gene and gene-environment interactions defining lipid-related traits. Curr Opin Lipidol  vol. 22, (2) 129-136. 10.1097/MOL.0b013e32834477a9


Grants of specific relevance to Predictive in vitro Models
The impact of microbial and inflammatory exposures on birth outcomes in rural Zimbabwe
Allaker RP, Bourke CD, Donos N and Robertson RCJ
£1,214,694 MRC Medical Research Council (01-04-2020 - 31-03-2023)
META-SAM (Metagenomics and Metabolomics of Severe Acute Malnutrition)
Robertson RC
£250,000 Wellcome Trust (01-09-2017 - 01-09-2021)