Zachary Bendiks

Zachary Bendiks

Position Title
PhD Student

Microbiology Graduate Group


My research uses a combination of microbiology, food science, molecular biology, and bioinformatics to understand how dietary fibers, particularly type II resistant starch (RS), affect the composition and function of the mammalian gut microbiota.  My prior work has shown that the abundance of RS-responsive taxa in the cecum is directly associated with changes to the systemic metabolome, and that different fiber sources have distinct effects on gut composition and function. I previously observed a selective enrichment of Lactobacillus in the rat gut following consumption of a whole grain diet, and my goal now is to perform carbohydrate growth assays with Lactobacillus isolates to further understand this enrichment.