Matthew Collison

EngD Student

I am an engineering doctorate (EngD) student in the Bioprocess Biopharmaceutical Technology Centre, Newcastle University. My EngD is in collaboration with the computational biology department at GlaxoSmithKline towards translating microbiome research into drug discovery opportunities. My primary supervisors at Newcastle University are Professor Anil Wipat and Dr Robert Hirt and my industrial supervisors are Dr James Brown and Dr Philippe Sanseau.

My principle research interests lie in microbiome research, data integration and drug discovery. The main focus of my research is on the GSK gut microbiome project. As part of this project I am developing a graph database solution for integration of microbiome and host datasets. We are also particularly interested in metabolic diseases and the effect of narrow spectrum antibiotics on the microbiome.

Research Interests

  • Human Gut Microbiome
  • Metagenomics
  • Data Integration
  • Drug Discovery


  • [DOI] M. Collison, R. P. Hirt, A. Wipat, S. Nakjang, P. Sanseau, and J. R. Brown, “Data mining the human gut microbiota for therapeutic targets,” Briefings in bioinformatics, vol. 13, iss. 6, pp. 751-768, 2012.
    abstract = {It is well known that microbes have an intricate role in human health and disease. However, targeted strategies for modulating human health through the modification of either human-associated microbial communities or associated human-host targets have yet to be realized. New knowledge about the role of microbial communities in the microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract ({GIT}) and their collective genomes, the {GIT} microbiome, in chronic diseases opens new opportunities for therapeutic interventions. {GIT} microbiota participation in drug metabolism is a further pharmaceutical consideration. In this review, we discuss how computational methods could lead to a systems-level understanding of the global physiology of the host–microbiota superorganism in health and disease. Such knowledge will provide a platform for the identification and development of new therapeutic strategies for chronic diseases possibly involving microbial as well as human-host targets that improve upon existing probiotics, prebiotics or antibiotics. In addition, integrative bioinformatics analysis will further our understanding of the microbial biotransformation of exogenous compounds or xenobiotics, which could lead to safer and more efficacious drugs.},
    author = {Collison, Matthew and Hirt, Robert P. and Wipat, Anil and Nakjang, Sirintra and Sanseau, Philippe and Brown, James R.},
    citeulike-article-id = {10496525},
    citeulike-linkout-0 = {},
    citeulike-linkout-1 = {},
    citeulike-linkout-2 = {},
    citeulike-linkout-3 = {},
    citeulike-linkout-4 = {},
    day = {01},
    doi = {10.1093/bib/bbs002},
    issn = {1477-4054},
    journal = {Briefings in Bioinformatics},
    keywords = {analysis, bioinformatics, methods, microbiome},
    month = nov,
    number = {6},
    pages = {751--768},
    pmid = {22445903},
    posted-at = {2013-05-09 09:47:45},
    priority = {2},
    publisher = {Oxford University Press},
    title = {Data mining the human gut microbiota for therapeutic targets},
    url = {},
    volume = {13},
    year = {2012}



Address: School of Computing Science, Claremont Tower, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU.