William Parker, PhD, has studied biochemistry and immunology at Duke University since 1993. Best known for the discovery of the function of the human vermiform appendix (a safe-house for bacteria), William has spent the last 15 years looking at fundamental cultural causes of inflammation in Western societies. His work on “biota alteration”, a concept which evolved from the “hygiene hypothesis”, has led to the discovery that intestinal worms, called helminths, are very supportive of healthy neuropsychiatric function in adults and in children. William has studied microbial communities in a variety of systems, including wild rats, laboratory mice, and African mole rats. William has published more than 100 peer- reviewed papers, including a number of studies evaluating the role of the microbiota in inflammation and disease.