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Congratulations to

Julia Cleo Fisher

Arts & Sciences


Honors Thesis Faculty Advisor: Donna Korol

Thesis Title:

Trust Your Gut: The Gut-Brain Axis Stress Connection: How stress correlates with gut-related disorders and the importance in identifying the dysbiosis mechanism for therapeutic treatments

Julia Cleo Fisher

This scientific research paper addresses the gut-brain axis and its biological relationship to stress, including environmental, in utero, physiological, and psychological stress, while emphasizing the importance of future gut-brain axis research towards human health and diagnoses. There is a focus on gut dysbiosis, the gut dysbiosis mechanism, and subsequent gut-related disorders such as anxiety, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome. Current knowledge of the anatomical and physiological structure of the gut-brain axis is addressed, centering on the gut microbiome, the enteric nervous system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and vagus nerve. Specific research into the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is scrutinized in terms of germ-free mice (GF) and the administration of specific strains of Lactobacillus. Human probiotic studies and future implications of such studies are analyzed with a focus on stress-modulated biomarkers and the bidirectionality of the brain-gut axis. Bidirectionality of the brain-gut axis is further examined in terms of atherosclerosis, fecal microbiota transplantation, and complementary medicine as a modulator of stress.

Acknowledgments: My friends, family, Biology, Neuroscience, and German professors with a special thank you to Dr. Korol and Dr. Mcilvain.

Links to Project Materials:


College of Arts & Sciences 2021, Natural Science & Engineering Projects 2021, 2021