Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Healthy volunteers required for study on beneficial human gut fungi

Understanding the role of beneficial fungi that live in the healthy human gut could help uncover the processes leading to nutritional disorders and ill-health. Recent research indicates that fungi may be important in the breakdown of fat in the human gut. This study will investigate fat metabolism by fungi cultured from healthy human stool in the laboratory. We will feed the fungi isotopically altered fats to make their processing and breakdown detectable by mass spectrometry. We will use imaging mass spectrometry to identify fungi based on their cell wall composition.

Are you eligible?

We would like to invite healthy individuals to donate a faecal sample for our study. Eligible participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 18-75 years
  • BMI <25
  • Not on any long-term medications, probiotics, antifungal or antibiotic preparations, or any preparations known to have an effect on the gastrointestinal tract
  • No recent history of gastrointestinal illness
  • Have not suffered from viral Hepatitis, Campylobacter, Giardia, Typhoid fever, Cholera, Dysentery, Polio, Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasmosis, or tapeworms


The study is being conducted by Dr Elizabeth McKenzie and is funded by the University of Auckland Liggins Institute Faculty Research & Development Fund.

If you are interested, please contact Magda Rosin.

For general enquiries, please contact Dr Elizabeth McKenzie or phone 09 923 4751