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Professor of Microbial Genomics, School of Microbiology and APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork

Paul O’Toole is Professor of Microbial Genomics and head of the School of Microbiology at University College Cork, Ireland. He is a Principal Investigator in the APC Microbiome Institute ( His main research theme is the metagenomics of gastrointestinal bacteria in humans, with emphasis on lactobacillus genomics, gut microbiota in ageing, colorectal cancer and in IBS. He has co-ordinated and participated in several major projects that examine the composition and function of the gut microbiota, its reaction to habitual diet, and its relationship to health, functional gastrointestinal disorders, and ageing. The ultimate aim is to understand and manipulate host-microbiome interactions, especially in the context of multi-factorial disease. He co-ordinated the ELDERMET project ( that established diet-microbiota health interactions in 500 elderly persons, ELDERFOOD that investigated novel dairy ingredients for healthy aging, a recent APC prebiotic intervention in the elderly, and the microbiome analysis of the EU project NuAge, that investigated the effect of a Mediterranean diet on the microbiome and health of 600 older subjects across Europe. He has participated in multiple other EU projects. Research in his lab is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, Dept. Agriculture Fisheries and Marine, the Health Research Board, various APC industry partners, and the European Union. He has published over 200 articles and has an H-index of 61 (Web of Science).


  • 1995–2002
    Senior Lecturer, Massey University, NZ