Dr. David Seki
My PhD at the University of Vienna focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying the association between inflammation of gastrointestinal origin and severe aggravations of brain damage in premature infants. Due to immature development, these infants are very vulnerable and have to stay in intensive care units during their first months of life. Within my project, I established a large cohort of extremely premature infant patients at the local hospital, characterised T cell ontogeny in their peripheral blood samples, monitored their neurophysiological development, and profiled microbiota and their metabolites in stool samples. Via integrative analysis of microbiome, immunological, clinical, and neurophysiological data I identified candidate biomarkers for aberrant development of the gut microbiota-immune-brain axis that are associated with the progression and severity of brain injury.
I have joined the Hall Lab as a postdoctoral researcher in 2021. Here, I will investigate which dietary mechanisms influence the initial establishment and succession of microbiota during early-life, and how this initial priming influences immunological homeostasis later in life.