Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Human Biology

Second Department


Reader 1

Elise Ferree

Reader 2

Alicia Bonaparte

Rights Information

2023 Mauricio D. Guzman


Over recent years, the “microbiota-gut-brain axis” (MGBA) has garnered significant attention in the scientific community. Specifically, perturbations of the MGBA via stress and dietary intake have been linked to a wide-range of diseases including gastrointestinal diseases, metabolic diseases, mood disorders, and cognitive diseases. However, most studies have been solely conducted on mice models and have yet to consider the more complex, intricate systems that impact the human body. In addition, researchers have yet to consider the populations who may be most susceptible to chronic stress and negative dietary outcomes. Drawing from the fields of medical sociology, non-invasive human biology, and economics, we construct a mixed methodological approach to researching unhoused and housed populations in and around the Skid Row area of Los Angeles, California using a gut biomarker indicative of obesity and its associations to neuroinflammation and cognitive decline.