A recent study entitled ‘Signatures of early frailty in the gut microbiota’, published in the journal Genome Medicine, by Dr Matt Jackson from the Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, investigated whether changes in our gut bacteria could be part of the process of inflammation driving frailty.

Researchers from the TwinsUK study used material held by the GSTT BioResource, examined stool samples from more than 700 healthy British twins and found that the frailer an individual, the lower the diversity of gut bacteria they have. The results suggest that eating more fibre and adopting a Mediterranean style diet could lead to better health in later life.

This is just one example of how the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) BioResource is supporting scientists across the country, including here at Guy’s and St Thomas’, with their work.

Caterina Nardella, GSTT BioResource co-ordinator, said: “The BioResource at Guy’s and St Thomas’ has now taken samples from more than 13,000 people and is proving to be an invaluable resource for researchers across the country.

“Not only can we provide access to the national BioResource which has collected genetic material from over 60,000 individuals, but we can also assist researchers with the administrative aspects of running a study.”

Using the NIHR BioResource at Guy’s and St Thomas’ for your study

Our BioResource offers researchers access to samples that have all been genotyped by Affymetrix. It also provides access to 24,750 metabolic profile samples collected from across the NIHR National BioResource, and profiled by NIHR partner Metabolon.

Applications are considered for studies looking to recruit participants based on their genotype and/or phenotype. All proposals will be reviewed by our Scientific Advisory Board. Once approved, the team will work with you to ensure that your ethics submission, volunteer profiles and consent are appropriate for recruitment via the BioResource.

With expertise in recruitment of patients and healthy volunteers, the BioResource team then screen its extensive database, and work with you to invite eligible volunteers to take part in your study.

Principal Investigators interested in potentially recruiting to upcoming studies using the GSTT BioResource and researchers looking for expertise in the areas mentioned above should contact the BioResource team at gsttbioresource@kcl.ac.uk