Weir focuses on understanding the role of microbes in ecosystem functioning – with ecosystems ranging from soils to processed food products to the human gut – and how dietary phytochemicals affect the composition of gut microbes.
Weir’s specific work includes examining how fermentation of plant foods affects composition and bioavailability of phytochemicals beneficial to human health. Focus plants include rice bran and fermented Chinese tea, both of which have been used traditionally as medicines in Asian cultures and have shown activity in a number of chronic and infectious disease models.
Weir received her B.S. in biology from Pennsylvania State University in 1995. She earned her M.S. in plant pathology from the same institution in 1997 and her Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from CSU in 2008.