2020 Belfort Lecture
Belfort LectureLecturer: Dr. Bob Rastall
What Exactly Is a Prebiotic?
Bob Rastall is Senior Tutor, Head of Outreach and Enterprise, and Director of the National Centre for Biotechnology Education within the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading in the UK where he also holds the post of Professor of Food Biotechnology. He has a BSc in Applied Biology and a PhD in Microbial Biochemistry from the University of Greenwich, London. His PhD was on the “Cell-Surface Biochemistry of Erwinia amylovora”. He held research fellowships in the field of carbohydrate bioengineering and carbohydrate bioinformatics at the University of Westminster until joining the University of Reading in 1993.
Professor Rastall’s research interests are around developing novel enzymatic manufacturing technologies for functional carbohydrates targeted at gut health. His research is mainly focused on the following three areas:
- Understanding structure-function relationships in prebiotic carbohydrates and the application of that knowledge to the rational development of functionally enhanced prebiotics.
- Utilisation of waste biomass as a source of novel functional carbohydrates.
- Development of rationally targeted probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics to specific health outcomes and the maintenance of a healthy gut.
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