Jeff’s interest in modern diet and the gut microbiome began almost a decade ago when his daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. As with other autoimmune diseases, an underlying genetic susceptibility must exist for type 1 diabetes to manifest but an environmental component (trigger) is necessary. With advances in metagenomics and huge government initiatives like the recently completed Human Microbiome Project, its becoming increasingly clear that the gut microbiome plays a significant if not causal role in the development of type 1 diabetes, other autoimmune diseases, and modern (ecological) diseases in general.
In an effort to raise awareness about the changes in human ecology that have given rise to diseases of the modern world, Jeff launched the Human Food Project to blur the line between the science and the general public. See also our recently launched crowd sourcing project American Gut. We hope you can join us as we look to the past to better understand why we get sick.
Research interests include the impact of acculturation on the gut microbiome among traditional groups in Africa, public health policy, ethnography, indigenous rights, hot-rock technology, site formation processes, foraging and pastoral societies, and evolution of the human microbiome from our Mio-Pliocene ancestors to modern primates and humans.