About me

I am currently an EMBO postdoctoral researcher in Nicola Segata’s Lab in CIBIO (University of Trento, Italy). I assess the person-to-person transmission of the human microbiome by large scale strain-level metagenomic profiling. See our latest open-access publication!

My background is in Microbiology and Computational Biology (UAB, Spain and VUB, Belgium). During my PhD (Raes Lab, VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium) I researched the microbiota-gut-brain axis, seeking to characterise the microbial production and degradation of neuroactive compounds in metagenomic data, and performing the first population-level study on the link between the gut microbiome and anxiety and depression (Valles-Colomer et al, Nat. Microbiology 2019). The study was included in “Nature milestones 2019” as milestone paper in human microbiota research, and was awarded a recommendation from F1000Prime.

Towards the end of my PhD another question became increasingly important to me: how do we acquire such health- and disease-associated bacteria? By strain-level profiling approaches, I currently investigate how human-associated microorganisms are transmitted among individuals and spread in populations.