I am a Microbial Ecologist in the Division of Biosciences, within the College of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Brunel London.
My research interests lie in the assessment of microbial community structure and function using high throughput sequencing and molecular microbiological techniques. My current research focuses on the gastrointestinal microbiome and changes as a result of disease or injury, this characterisation of the communities allows the identification of functionally important changes in microbial assemblages. My research has included work on the impact of stroke, brain injury, parasitic intestinal infections, and dementia on the interactions with the host and its microbiome.
My Doctorial training was in soil microbial ecology carrying out risk assessments and the efficacy of using bacterial biological control agents against fungi diseases of crops while at CEH-Oxford/Cardiff University. I then undertook postdoctoral research at The University of Sheffield followed by The University of Manchester continuing research into environmental microbiology. While at Manchester I moved into medical microbiome research as Researcher Co-Investigator on a grant on T. Muris and the impact on the microbiome and host. As a result of this I have formed a number of collaborations involving microbiome research.
Newest selected publications
Houlden, A. and Mackay, R. (2021) 'Can microfluidics be used to create a more realistic in vitro model of the vaginal ectocervix to better understand bacterial vaginosis?'. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 98 (1). pp. 74 - 74. ISSN: 1368-4973 Open Access Link
White, EC., Houlden, A., Bancroft, AJ., Hayes, KS., Goldrick, M., Grencis, RK. and (2018) 'Manipulation of host and parasite microbiotas: Survival strategies during chronic nematode infection'. Science Advances, 4 (3). pp. eaap7399. ISSN: 2375-2548 Open Access Linket al.
Ramirez, KS., Knight, CG., De Hollander, M., Brearley, FQ., Constantinides, B., Cotton, A., (2017) 'Detecting macroecological patterns in bacterial communities across independent studies of global soils'. Nature Microbiology, 3 (2). pp. 189 - 196. ISSN: 2058-5276 Open Access Linket al.
Houlden, A., Goldrick, M., Brough, D., Vizi, ES., Lénárt, N., Martinecz, B., (2016) 'Brain injury induces specific changes in the caecal microbiota of mice via altered autonomic activity and mucoprotein production'. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 57. pp. 10 - 20. ISSN: 0889-1591 Open Access Linket al.
Houlden, A., Hayes, KS., Bancroft, AJ., Worthington, JJ., Wang, P., Grencis, RK. and (2015) 'Chronic Trichuris muris infection in C57BL/6 mice causes significant changes in host microbiota and metabolome: Effects reversed by pathogen clearance'. PLoS ONE, 10 (5). pp. e0125945 - e0125945. ISSN: 1932-6203et al.