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Webinar: Anaerobic culture of the normal human intestinal microbiota

For over forty years DWS has supplied Anaerobic Workstations to clinical and research customers. More recently, users conducting work on the Human Microbiome have seen the need for not only precise control of Anaerobic conditions but also the ability to house equipment in their workstations. In this Webinar, guest speakers will provide an insight into the work they are conducting at the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen and Microbiotica in Cambridge. There will also be a talk from our head of science, Dr Andrew Pridmore, about variable oxygen tolerances across different bacterial strains associated with the intestinal microbiota. We will also have a session focused on equipment set-ups and how the group at the Rowett Institute has used various pieces of technology in their workstation to massively increase their experimental throughput.


To reserve a place at this event, please email your details to:


Date: Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Time: from 15.00 to 17.00 CEST



15:00 Steve Robertson, Sales Director, Don Whitley Scientific Introductions
15:10 Petra Louis, PhD, Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen Elucidating gut microbial physiology using culture-based approaches.
Petra’s talk will use recent work on the breakdown of dietary fibre by gut microbes and on vitamin requirements of gut bacteria to highlight the power of bacterial growth experiments in helping to understand the activities of the microbial community in the human large intestine.
15:30 Andrew Pridmore, PhD, Head of Science, Don Whitley Scientific Variability in oxygen tolerance among bacterial strains associated with the normal intestinal microbiota.
Andrew will be speaking about work performed in the DWS labs showing the variable oxygen tolerance of anaerobic strains associated with intestinal microbiota, including pathogens, “normal microbiota”, and more recently characterized potentially therapeutic strains
15:45   Break
16:00 Anne Neville, PhD, Microbiotica Translating precision in microbiome science into transformative medicines and biomarkers.
Anne’s talk will focus on Microbiotica’s work identifying gut bacteria linked to patient phenotype with unprecedented precision to develop validated live bacterial therapeutics and biomarkers based on clinical datasets.
16:20 Freda Farquharson, University of Aberdeen and Steve Rogerson, Don Whitley Scientific Evolution of a system for high throughput bacterial growth monitoring.
Freda and Steve will detail the development of the Rowett’s laboratory process, increasing the level of throughput from individual tube manipulation and reading to being able to monitor the anaerobic growth of nearly 1000 growth incubations simultaneously and uninterrupted.
16:35 Daniel Secker, Product Specialist, Don Whitley Scientific Question & Answer Session
16:50 Steve Robertson Closing Remarks
17:00   Ending




dr Petra Louis
Petra Louis is a molecular microbiologist who has worked in the field of gut microbiology, human nutrition and health since 2002. She is interested in health-promoting effects exerted by the human gut microbiota, with a focus on microbial dietary non-digestible carbohydrate degradation, fermentation and metabolite production.

Petra employs a wide range of technical approaches, including strictly anaerobic microbiology, molecular microbial community analysis of in vitro and human dietary studies, -omics technologies and mathematical modelling, to elucidate the functional roles of different gut microbes and their community interactions.

dr Anne Neville
Anne Neville leads the Microbiology Team at Microbiotica, having joined the company in May 2017, soon after its formation. In this role, she leads the team which specialises in microbial cultivation and the application of genomics techniques to the human gut microbiota.  Before joining Microbiotica, Anne held a post-doctoral research post at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK, working to discover and validate the use of microbial interventions for the prevention and treatment of disease caused by the enteric pathogen C. difficile. Prior to this, Anne undertook post-doctoral research on probiotics at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France.  Anne has a BSc in Genetics and a PhD in Microbiology, both from University College Cork in Ireland. Her PhD research was focused on the functional genomics of motile bacteria, commensal to the human gastrointestinal tract.

dr Andrew Pridmore

Andrew has been with DWS since 1991, when he joined as a new graduate.  He subsequently completed a PhD on the phenotypic, metabolic and molecular responses of anaerobic bacteria to oxygen exposure, concentrating on bacteria associated with periodontal disease.  He currently manages our in-house microbiology laboratory, where we continue to work with fastidious anaerobes on a daily basis.  A major area of work is antibiotic susceptibility testing of anaerobes on behalf of our contract research clients. 

In recent years Andrew has also overseen work on the culture, enumeration  and susceptibility testing of highly fastidious anaerobe strains from the normal human microbiota, which are being developed as Live Biotherapeutic Products.

Freda Farquharson
Freda Farquharson is a research assistant at the Rowett Institute working in the field of molecular microbiology for over 30 years. She has developed and utilises a range of methods such as anaerobic microbiology, real-time PCR and molecular community analysis to investigate the functional roles of different gut microbes.
Steve Rogerson
Steve is a Technical Specialist for Don Whitley Scientific Ltd. During the 15 years he has worked in the sales department he has used the knowledge he gained working in clinical microbiology in the PHLS and as a manager in a contract microbiology laboratory to develop relationships with a wide range of customers. In more recent years Steve has worked as an application specialist looking to help laboratories transition toward automation and help customers understand how automated systems can benefit them.


Event hosted and organised by Don Whitley Scientific Limited