Feeding Gut Microbes for a Healthy Brain

Francesca S. Gazzaniga, PhD
Harvard Medical School and Harvard University



  • Human patients with Parkinson’s and autism also demonstrate gut microbiota dysbiosis (imbalance) and often present with symptoms of gastrointestinal dysfunction.
  • Novel technologies such as microfluidic gut-on-a-chip systems, which are in vitro “miniature guts” with living cells and a microbiome, are currently being utilized to identify the mechanisms and molecules by which gut bacteria stimulate the immune system to protect and combat neurological diseases.
  • The emerging roles of the gut microbiota in the development of human neurological diseases are being studied using novel technologies that may lead to successful therapies.



Francesca S. Gazzaniga, PhD- Harvard Medical School and Harvard University

Dr. Michael Gazzaniga received a doctorate degree in psychobiology from Caltech (California Institute of Technology) working under Nobel Prize-winning scientist Roger W. Sperry, who inaugurated studies on split-brain patients. Dr. Gazzaniga is now director of the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind at the University of California, Santa Barbara

“In order to treat the brain, it seems we must treat the gut.”