Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)



First Advisor

Dr. Dhundy Bastola


Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) including ulcerative colitis, indeterminate colitis, and Crohn’s disease are increasingly common conditions that places a high physical and financial burden on individuals and global healthcare systems. Though many treatments exist for these conditions, their unpredictable nature and causation make them difficult to manage across the variety of IBD patients. Additionally, many of these treatments come with undesirable side effects or modes of delivery. Therefore, it is worthwhile to explore the use of Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) such as butyrate whose affects in the human gut include decreased inflammation and decreased risk of colorectal cancer. As butyrate is produced primarily by microbial species within the human gut, this project’s aim was to identify butyrate producing bacteria in the human gut microbiome via metagenomic analysis based on the presence of genes essential to pathways of butyrate production. In total, 73 different potentially butyrate producing species were identified and characterized. Species identified include both gram-positive and gram-negative anaerobic bacteria belonging to the classes Clostridia, Fusobacteriia, Negativicutes, Bacilli, and Bacteroidia. Of these, Clostridia was the highest scoring class of bacteria.