Jeff’s interest in modern diet and the gut microbiome began more than a decade ago when his daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. As with other autoimmune diseases, an underlying genetic susceptibility must exist for type 1 diabetes to manifest but an environmental component (trigger) is necessary. With advances in metagenomics and huge government initiatives like the recently completed Human Microbiome Project, its becoming increasingly clear that the gut microbiome plays a significant if not causal role in the development of type 1 diabetes, other autoimmune diseases, and modern (ecological) diseases in general.
In an effort to raise awareness about the changes in human ecology that have given rise to diseases of the modern world, Jeff launched the Human Food Project (non-profit, 501(c)(3)) to blur the line between the science and the general public. He also co-founded the American Gut, the world’s largest open-source/crowd-funded microbiome project in the world (also includes British Gut, Asian Gut and Australian Gut). He is also a co-founder of the UK-based MapMyGut and a Visiting Research Fellow within the Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London.
His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and been featured in a number of magazines, newspapers, radio programs and documentaries. He also penned opinion pieces about health and nutrition for the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle. His work among the Hadza was recently profiled in the prestigious journal Science.
Research interests include how social organization and behavior affect the spread of microbes between social groups, the impact of acculturation and seasonality on the gut microbiome among traditional groups in Africa, public health policy, ethnography, foraging and pastoral societies, and evolution of the human microbiome from our Mio-Pliocene ancestors to modern primates and humans.
His most recent book "Rewild" can be found on Amazon.