DFG research group between Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel and BGC

DFG research group between Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel and BGC

People with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease suffer from chronic diarrhea, fever, pain and psychological stress. So far there is no cure. Numerous scientific studies indicate a strong influence of the gut microbiome, in addition to environmental influences and genetic predisposition.

Dr. Silke Heinzmann and Dr. Alesia Walker have founded a DFG-funded research group together with the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel. Over the next 4 years, they will bring their expertise in metabolome and microbiome research to the topic "The microbiome as a therapeutic target for inflammatory bowel diseases (miTarget)". For this purpose, the identification of new metabolites and the quantification of known microbial and endogenous metabolites will be discussed to further develop the modeling of microbial interactions with humans.
The research group wants to investigate new predictive biomarkers, molecular mechanisms of disease development and the microbiome as a therapeutic target in order to be able to offer an early diagnosis and starting points for targeted clinical therapies.

miTarget is one of seven new research groups that will be funded by the DFG from 2020 (press release).

Within this BGC - Kiel collaboration, we have already elaborated the effect of anti-TNF treatment in IBD patients and its effect on gut microbial composition and function. We examined in detail the fecal microbiota, their in-silico metabolic network reconstruction and stool metabolome of IBD patients at baseline and at 14 weeks after induction of anti-TNF therapy. IBD remitted patients showed high metabolic interchange, increased substrates of butyrate synthesis and increased butyrate levels compared to non-remitted patients.

Original publication:

Aden, K., Rehman, A., Waschina, S., Pan, W. H., Walker, A., Lucio, M., ... & Schulte, B. (2019). Metabolic functions of gut microbes associate with efficacy of tumor necrosis factor antagonists in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Gastroenterology.