May 3, 2019

Meli’sa Crawford researches how high-fat diet alters the microbiome, with aim of lowering disease risk, especially in food deserts

For Meli’sa Crawford, talking about poop isn’t gross or impolite — it’s an important part of a day’s work. Crawford is an Arizona State University PhD candidate who studies poop to learn how a high-fat diet can alter your microbiome, or gut bacteria. She also explores how gut bacteria affect your health. 

High-fat diets are common in low-income food deserts, areas where grocery stores are scarce and fast food is cheap and plentiful. As she learns more about the relationship between diet and gastrointestinal health, Crawford hopes one day to improve food quality in underprivileged areas. 

Crawford's talk is part of the ASU KEDtalks series. Short for Knowledge Enterprise Development talks, KEDtalks aim to spark ideas, indulge curiosity and inspire action by highlighting ASU scientists, humanists, social scientists and artists who are driven to find solutions to the universe’s grandest challenges. Tune in to to discover how researchers are attacking locust plagues, why baby steps are not the best way to achieve change and more.

Top photo by Andy DeLisle

Iti Agnihotri

Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications , Learning Enterprise