My name's Jacqueline and I am a first-year masters student at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus located in Kelowna, BC.
I've been a member of Dr. Deanna Gibson's lab for three years - completing an undergraduate honours degree and working as a research technician before deciding to go back and do my masters. The primary focus of the Gibson lab is looking at the gut and factors that influence the gut microbiome and overall gut health such as diet, exercise, and disease susceptibility.
We were even featured in a FiveThirtyEight video!
Gut issues are on the rise in Western countries. The incidence of celiac disease has doubled in Canada over the last 25 years and costs Canadians approximately $18 billion dollars annually in health care costs and lost productivity. The NIH estimates 60-70 million people are affected by digestive diseases in the US alone.
Take a moment and think about all of the people in your life...
Chances are you know someone who's experienced gut issues - whether it be inflammatory bowel disease; such as Crohn's or colitis, celiac disease, non-celiac wheat sensitivity, wheat allergy, irritable bowel syndrome, or some other gastrointestinal disorder.
The person you're thinking of might even be you!
We want to provide you with an opportunity to get involved with real research that matters to you.
This project is based on the observation that some people, unable to consume wheat products in North America, are able to tolerate wheat products when they travel abroad and do not experience any gastrointestinal symptoms.
This leads us to believe that something we're doing to our wheat in North America is affecting our gut health.
There are several possible factors but we have to start with just one.
One practice that's been adopted by wheat producers in North America is the use of chemicals such as glyphosate in wheat desiccation. Glyphosate (also known by the brand name Roundup), is currently a highly debated topic. A few scientific studies have looked at the effects of glyphosate on gut motility and its effect on members of the poultry microbiota in vitro. However, no studies have looked at the effects of desiccants, such as Roundup, and their effect on the gut microbiota, gut inflammation and overall gut health.
This is where you come in - we are giving you the opportunity to help fund real scientific research you feel passionately about. We are giving you a chance to help us answer the unknown. It doesn't matter what side of the debate you're on - we are scientists who just want the truth.
This crowdfunding campaign allows us to conduct unbiased research on this controversial topic without the potential conflict-of-interest that could come with funding from large special interests.
Head on over to out "Get Involved" page to find out how.