Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Dr. Maurice is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Gut Microbial Physiology and a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar. She has been working with a systems biology approach on microbial communities for over 10 years, in aquatic systems and in the human gut. She pioneered the use of single cell approaches to understand how gut bacteria respond to perturbations and interact with their viral predators (bacteriophages). She demonstrated that common therapeutic drugs can rapidly alter bacterial activity – a possible explanation for different side effects to the same therapeutic treatments. Her collaborative work determined how diet and infection can alter bacterial activity and diversity. At McGill University, her lab is currently taking these approaches further to characterize gut bacterial metabolism, and how to regulate this metabolism with bacteriophages to promote health.
The human gut is home to trillions of microbial cells, bacteriophages (viruses specific to bacteria), fungi, and eukaryotes; collectively referred to as the gut microbiota. The gut microbiota is key to human health: it is central to our digestion, synthesizes essential vitamins, metabolizes therapeutic drugs, and shapes host immunity; yet we have no clear understanding of the metabolic activities performed by individual members of this complex community. This is a critical gap to overcome in our pursuit of personalized medicine.
Research in the lab aims to address two major goals:
1. Identify and characterize the metabolically active microbial members of the gut microbiota.
2. Determine the role of bacteriophages as regulators of the active gut microbiota.
Combining single-cell and metagenomics approaches to the study of the human gut microbiota, our projects aim to explore human health from a microbial standpoint. Ultimately, our goal is to increase our understanding of the ecological processes and interactions between the different members of the gut microbiota, focusing on bacteria and phages, in order to modulate them and restore a healthy gut microbiota after clinically relevant perturbations.
Book Chapters/ Reviews
Maurice CF. 2013. Xénobiotiques et le microbiome intestinal actif: des effets non soupçonnés. Médecine/Sciences, 29(10): 846-854.
Maurice CF, and PJ Turnbaugh. 2013. Quantifying the dynamic metabolic activities of human-associated microbial communities across multiple ecological scales. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 37: 830-848.
Maurice CF, and PJ Turnbaugh. 2013. Quantifying and identifying the active and damaged subsets of indigenous microbial communities. Methods in Enzymology, 531: 91-107.
Maurice CF, and PJ Turnbaugh. 2011. The human microbiome: exploring and manipulating our microbial selves. In Metagenomics: Current Innovations and Future Trends. Caister Academic Press.