Gut microbes and metabolic disorders-
dissection of the underlying preventive and causal mechanisms and development of personalized dietary treatment strategies


Main funder

Funder's project number: 308042


Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 434 485,00


Funding program

  • Research post as Academy Research Fellow, AoF (Academy of Finland)


Project timetable

Project start date: 01/09/2017

Project end date: 31/08/2022


Summary

This study aims at discovering the underlying causal and preventive mechanisms of metabolic disorders (MD) including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) based on gut microbes and diet. MD are major health problems that create a great economic burden to society. To date, no effective long-term treatment strategies for MD exist, and the exact causal mechanisms are unknown. Without intervention, MD develop into more severe Type 2 diabetes, which treatment costs in Finland are yearly over 1300 million euros and world-wide more than 286 billion international dollars. Therefore, from a societal and scientific perspective discovering the mechanisms is of utmost importance to prevent MD.
Recent advances in genome sequencing have generated large amount of data about the associations of gut microbiota with MD. However, these massive studies are only associative and thus do not enable determination of the causal or preventive mechanisms of the diseases. Therefore, to advance the research field, I have planned novel, personalized approaches to target the microbes to treat MD.
We have combined data from human diets, gut microbiota composition, and in vitro studies to identify dietary compounds that may affect the abundance of the harmful and beneficial microbes, and now we will: 1) apply the knowledge to treat MD in animal models by targeting the abundance of harmful and therapeutic microbes by specific diets; 2) thoroughly elucidate the underlying pathologic and preventive mechanisms at organism and molecular levels using animal models, and finally; 3) study the effects of the diets on MD risk factors in humans.
Our results are crucial to understand the causes of MD, and take an important leap towards personalized diagnosis and treatment strategies based on diets and gut microbes. Moreover, the results will introduce ground-braking new concepts to health-related microbiome research, and will explain why a commensal gut bacterium is beneficial or becomes harmful to the host’s health. This project will also discover new pathways that link the gut microbiota to the host.
This study relates to the Academy of Finland postdoc project of the applicant. The research group together with excellent facilities, enthusiasm and cross-disciplinary skills of the applicant will make this challenging research feasible.


Principal Investigator


Primary responsible unit


Related publications


Last updated on 2019-21-10 at 12:39