Team Receives Grant to Study the Gut Microbiome & Cardiometabolic Diseases

Congratulations to Federico Rey (bacteriology) who is part of a research team that recently received a new grant from the Fondation Leducq. The project, “Gut Microbiome as a Target for the Treatment of Cardiometabolic Diseases, ” is part of the 2017 Transatlantic Networks of Excellence Program, which promotes collaborative work between Europe and North America. Coordinated by Fredrik Bäckhed (University of Gothenburg) and Stanley Hazen (Cleveland Clinic Foundation), researchers from six countries will examine how microbes in the gut contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Evidence suggests that the gut microbiome filters environmental exposure and influences human metabolism, inflammation, and the propensity to develop CVD, diabetes, and obesity. The team aims to develop therapeutic small molecules that might inhibit specific enzymes in the gut microbiome linked these metabolic disorders. One researcher has already begun an intervention study in diabetic patients, using specific bacterium to improve patients’ response to their own insulin. Together, the scientists have identified multiple microbiome-related metabolites that are associated with blood clotting, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.