Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Visiting Professor



+44 (0)20 7594 0728j.swann




660Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Dr Swann is a Visiting Professor within the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction. Prof Swann is responsible for leading a metabolomic-based research programme to understand the influence of gene-environment interactions on the mammalian metabolic system and their implications for health and disease. His primary interests fall under two intersecting research themes:

(1) Role of the gut microbiota (the collection of microbes residing in the gastrointestinal tract) in the mammalian metabolic system and their association with host health and disease. This includes their contribution to host endogenous and xenobiotic metabolism, the gut-brain axis and its role in neurological disorders, the carcinogenic potential of the microbiome, and environmental and host factors shaping the acquisition and composition of the gut microbiome.

(2) Impact of early-life events and exposures on mammalian development particularly microbial-host interplay, metabolism, and phenotypic outcomes. A key research area is the application of metabolic phenotyping to the field of global health. Specifically, using a metabonomic approach to characterise the biochemical consequences of undernutrition and infection in children from developing countries to better understand the contributors to the long-term sequelae of early life undernutrition, including impaired cognitive, growth and metabolic functions.

Dr Swann’s research is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BBSRC, MRC, AstraZeneca, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). He is on the editorial board for the journal Microbiome and sits on numerous expert panels relating to the gut microbiota. 

Blog article:

Current lab members:

Gordana Panic (post-doctoral research associate)

Natasa Giallourou (post-doctoral research associate)

Fahmina Fardus-Reid (post-doctoral research associate)

Adesola Bello (PhD student)

Marine Letertre (PhD student)

Yi Yang (PhD student)

Giorgia Caspani (PhD student) 

Simone Zuffa (PhD student)





McDonnell D, Afolabi PR, Wilding S, et al., 2023, Utilising Pancreatic Exocrine Insufficiency in the Detection of Resectable Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma, Cancers, Vol:15

Kathrani A, Yen S, Hall EJ, et al., 2023, The effects of a hydrolyzed protein diet on the plasma, fecal and urine metabolome in cats with chronic enteropathy., Sci Rep, Vol:13

Ling C, Versloot CJ, Arvidsson Kvissberg ME, et al., 2023, Rebalancing of mitochondrial homeostasis through an NAD+-SIRT1 pathway preserves intestinal barrier function in severe malnutrition., Ebiomedicine, Vol:96

Swann JR, Heijtz RD, Mayneris-Perxachs J, et al., 2023, Characterizing the metabolomic signature of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in twins, Neuropharmacology, Vol:234, ISSN:0028-3908

Zuffa S, Schimmel P, Gonzalez-Santana A, et al., 2023, Early-life differences in the gut microbiota composition and functionality of infants at elevated likelihood of developing autism spectrum disorder, Translational Psychiatry, Vol:13, ISSN:2158-3188

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