Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Food Science

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Hang Xiao

Subject Categories

Food Chemistry | Food Microbiology | Other Food Science


Hyperuricemia and gout are conditions characterized by an excess buildup of uric acid in the human body. Through purine degradation facilitated by purine metabolizing enzymes such as xanthine oxidase, uric acid is produced as the terminal metabolite. This is due to the evolutionary loss of the uricase enzyme in humans responsible for degrading uric acid any further. This reality leads to complications due to the increasing prevalence of high purine diets consisting primarily of red meats, seafood, mushrooms, beer, and some vegetables. As purine consumption has increased, the prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia has also increased. Both conditions lead to complications such as inflammation and crystallization of uric acid in joints and the urinary tract due to its low solubility in human serum and urine. The goal of this research is to discover and isolate members of the gut microbiome capable of interacting with and degrading uric acid. Since approximately 30% of uric acid excreted as waste is removed through the gastrointestinal tract, there is a potential for members of the microbiome to degrade uric acid and prevent reabsorption in the large intestine.


Available for download on Thursday, August 01, 2024