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Talk: Naama Geva-Zatorsky – “The Immunomodulatory Treasure Trove of the Gut Microbiota”

Dr. Naama Geva-Zatorsky Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa), gave a seminar talk as a guest of the CRC 1182 on February 24, 2021:

“The Immunomodulatory Treasure Trove of the Gut Microbiota”

In recent years, there has been a scientific awakening to the impact of microbial communities on host physiology. The human gut microbiota has been shown to be associated with a plethora of diseases from diverse etiologies. The microbiome can change during the progression of some diseases, and in some cases was linked to disease severity and outcome. The fecal microbiome as a whole was shown to have therapeutic effects, for example in Clostridium difficile infections where it has been integrated into treatment, with high success rates. Some microbiome-wide association studies have suggested that the health impact of the gut microbiota in various human populations is related to relative changes in the balance of the two major gut resident bacterial phyla, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes1. Our study2 has identified the immunologic and gut transcriptional responses to monocolonization of Germ-Free mice with each of 62 human gut microbial strains encompassing 53 species, across phyla. We further assessed their functional effects in disease settings such as experimental colitis3 and rheumatoid arthritis4. Overall, we found a myriad of phenotypes, including a few “signature” outcomes specific to certain microbes and many redundant effects shared across phylogenetically distant microbes. In my lab, we are studying the interactions of gut microbes with the mammalian host, in a dynamic and spatial manner and at real-time. We do so by applying unique methods5 that allow us to focus on microbes of interest, in an individualized manner, in space and time, and while interacting with the host. It is currently clear that the microbiota has profound effects on host physiology, yet studies on their causal effects, and functional molecules are still in their infancy. Our major interest is to characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying gut microbiota-host interactions.

More about Naama’s work

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