Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Christopher Stewart
staff profile chris stewart

I obtained my PhD and subsequently gained postdoc experience at Northumbria University, working on the development of the bacterial community (termed the microbiome) following birth and how this is associated with health and disease in preterm infants. To gain further experience and independence I joined the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research (CMMR) at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas) as a post-doctoral research associate. Here I was able to continue working in my primary area of preterm infant microbiome, where I gained new skills in the emerging state of the art techniques that greatly advance the study of microbiome-host interaction. I was also given additional opportunities to work with world-leading researchers on other aspects of infant microbiome development. This allowed me to strengthen my CV by adding international experience and increase my publication list.


As I looked to return to the UK, the Newcastle University Faculty Fellowship scheme provided a great opportunity for me to continue transitioning toward research independence. I was attracted to Newcastle University for several reasons; it is a leading and prestigious UK institute, where the majority of medical research is patient centric and highly translational. The access to patient samples is greatly facilitated through the local hospital being adjoined to the research institute. 


The Faculty Fellowship scheme is designed to assist early career researchers in obtaining independent funding, such as their own fellowship.  The initial Faculty Fellow start-up money has allowed me to hit the ground running and I have been well supported in applying for external Fellowships.  The guidance provided by the grants support team was outstanding and contributed greatly to the success of my Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellowship application.


Overall, the Newcastle University Faculty Fellowship provided the perfect springboard to secure my own independent Fellowship funding and continue my career progression toward independence.