Writing Exercise #15

Imagine yourself as the head of a funding agency (like the National Institute of Health) in which your job is to look at proposals for research projects and decide what projects to award funding to. Based on your readings this term, discuss a research project (or projects) that you would be most excited about funding as they relate to learning more about microbial influences on human health. As part of your response, consider what are we likely to learn from the project and how that might be important in future healthcare decisions.

There has been many readings from this term that I have found to be worthy of funding. I have always been intrigued by mental health and I enjoy learning about it. With that being said, I would be excited about funding a research project that used probiotics and healthy eating to treat symptoms that come with mental health disorders. The gut-brain axis is a very complex structure that ties the gut microbiome to the brain; the gut can influence the brain and the brain can influence the gut microbiome. I would be interested in finding a way in which healthier eating and probiotics could create a better microbiome within the gut which would hopefully have positive influence on the mental health of individuals. This study would reduce the use of expensive pharmaceutical drugs and lean towards a more natural remedy that may be more affordable for individuals. Mental health is not necessarily at the forefront of medical innovations, so I would love to be apart of highlighting the importance and effect it has on people’s lives.

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