PhDc Riley Hughes

My name is Riley Hughes. I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of California, Davis in the process of completing my final year of study under Drs. Nancy Keim and Mary Kable with whom I have been working to research the role of the gut microbiome in response to diet.

I will be moving to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall to work with Drs. Hannah Holscher, Nick Burd, and Naiman Khan to continue my investigation of the gut microbiome and diet as well as add an exercise component.

As a lifelong athlete, I have always been interested in the roles that both diet and physical activity play in maintaining health as well as the role of diet in optimizing exercise performance. In addition to this, I have been particularly fascinated by the variability that is observed between people in how they respond to diet and exercise (e.g. differences in weight loss, muscle gain, metabolic improvements, etc.). I believe that the gut microbiome is an important component of this variability and have chosen to focus on this community of bacteria as a way to understand, predict, and perhaps change individuals’ response to diet and exercise.