Functional genomics of lactic acid bacteria (LAB); relationship between gut microbiota and health; industrial fermentations; food microbiology and safety.One focus of research in my laboratory is on the functional genomics of lactic acid bacteria (LAB). LAB are extremely important in a wide number of beneficial roles including food fermentations (cheese, yogurt, salami, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, etc.), industrial starter cultures (organic acids, amino acids, proteins, etc.), delivery vehicles (vaccines or enzymes) and probiotics (live organisms which confer a health benefit when administered in adequate amounts). With the advent of functional genomics, the mechanisms of LAB function can be explored and then exploited. For example, a detailed understanding of probiotic functionality will enable the development of improved probiotics that can be used in the treatment of specific diseases. Current projects include: 1) Prebiotic fermentation by probiotics; 2) Probiotic adherence to the GI tract; 3) Lactobacilli genetic diversity; 4) Impact of prebiotics on infant microbiota; and 5) Prebiotics, microbiota and obesity.