Professor Joel Bornstein

Head of Enteric Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Physiology

I am a professor in the Department of Physiology and lead a team of researchers who are investigating the nervous system in the gut and how this interacts with the microbiota contained within the gut lumen. I have been intrigued by how networks of neurons process information throughout my career and am fascinated by the complex systems that modern neuroscience and gastrointestinal physiology have revealed as being involved in virtually every aspect of bodily function.

This is an era of overwhelming amounts of data, so the challenge is how to make sense of it. Computational biology – to extract specific themes from the mass of data and to predict how large scale networks interact and operate – is essential and will provide the lead for experimental biologists to investigate key issues for gut and brain health.

If I could give advice to my younger self, it would be to be bold in your choices and remember that fortune favours the prepared mind. You cannot embarrass yourself by asking or answering questions, and you don’t have to be captain to make an excellent contribution.

Find out more about the E-meet a (Biomedical) Scientist program and participating researchers here.