Ben Willing

Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Ag, Food & Nutri Sci Dept
Associate Chair, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Ag, Food & Nutri Sci Dept

Contact

Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Ag, Food & Nutri Sci Dept
Email
willing@ualberta.ca
Phone
(780) 492-8908
Address
3-10B Agriculture/Forestry Centre
9011 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2P5

Associate Chair, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Ag, Food & Nutri Sci Dept
Email
willing@ualberta.ca

Overview

About

Degree

PhD, Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan

Postdoc, Microbiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Science

Postdoc, Microbiology and Immunology, Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia

Job/Research Area

Microbiology of Nutrigenomics


Research

Research Interests

A diverse and abundant population of symbiotic microbes colonizes the mammalian gastrointestinal tract. Imbalances in this microbial community contribute to many diseases including asthma, diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, and increased susceptibility to infection. These microbes shape how the host responds to changes in diet, yet we know relatively little about how different members of the microbiota contribute to this process. The objectives of my research are to understand how different members of the resident flora contribute to the metabolism of the diet and how this process contributes to microbial regulation of host physiology. In my research I manipulate microbial community structure using antibiotic and gnotobiotic (germ-free) animal models and use tissue culture, metabolomics and transcriptomics to study this complex system. By understanding the mechanisms through which microbes regulate host physiology and which bacteria are responsible will allow us to set targets for how we should alter the microbiota to promote health in livestock and humans.

Announcements

Opportunities

Please inquire to Dr. Willing by e-mail regarding graduate and undergraduate training opportunities.

Courses

AFNS 528 - Advances in Human Nutrition and the Intestinal Microbiome

Overview of the role of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract and the impact on human health, interaction with dietary components and potential dietary modulation of the microbiome in the prevention of chronic disease. Not to be taken if credit received for NU FS 428. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. *3 MICRB and *6 PHYSL recommended.


ALES 491B - Topics in Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences

Offered by various departments depending upon the content of the course in a given year. Sections may require payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations section of the Calendar.


AN SC 311 - Metabolic Physiology of Domestic Animals

The physiological basis of the metabolic processes in domestic animals. Includes a review of the physiological mechanisms and neuroendocrine regulation of digestion, metabolism, growth and lactation. Prerequisite: AN SC 310.


AN SC 400 - Individual Study

Project or reading course supervised by a Faculty member, requiring preparation of a comprehensive report. Prerequisites: Third year standing or higher and consent of Department. Note: May be taken more than once if topic is different.


NU FS 401 - Undergraduate Research Project

Directed laboratory study under supervision of a staff member. Note: For third- and fourth-year students only. Students must obtain approval from Department before registration. May be taken more than once provided that topic is different.


NU FS 428 - Advances in Human Nutrition and the Intestinal Microbiome

Overview of the role of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract and the impact on human health, interaction with dietary components and potential dietary modulation of the microbiome in the prevention of chronic disease. Prerequisite: NUTR 301, NUTR 302, or NU FS 305. *3 MICRB and *6 PHYSL recommended.


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Featured Publications

2022 April;