Nutrition, Microbiome and Immunity

The Nutrition, Microbiome and Immunity Group is a dynamic and international team with expertise in microbiology, immunology, molecular genetics, public health, and bioinformatics. 

activities

Our research focuses on understanding how our changing dietary habits, especially the reduced consumption of dietary fiber, impacts susceptibility to various diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases, multiple sclerosis and allergy, as well as to a variety of gastrointestinal pathogens. We investigate the microbiome-mediated molecular mechanisms that impact our immune system via the interaction with the colonic mucus barrier, which is one of the first lines of host defense. In order to effectively address our research questions, we utilise a variety of tools and techniques from high-throughput culturing of commensal gut bacteria to next-generation sequencing, as well as immunological tools like mass cytometry (CyTOF). 

Our research exploits the power of synthetic human gut microbiotas in various gnotobiotic mouse models of the multiple diseases. Importantly, we also incorporate translational approaches to shift findings from a mouse model to human cohorts in order to inform clinical care or public health measures related to dietary fiber intake and disease.  

The mission of our research is to pursue the “from bed to bench to bed” approach to explore the disease-based biomarkers and susceptibility factors that could be used as critical transition points between health and disease in order to harness the potential of microbiome engineering.  

Mahesh
Desai

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Projects & clinical trials

Featured team members

  • Hélène
    De Franco
    PhD Student
  • Mahesh
    Desai
    Group Leader
  • Ana
    Frias
    Visiting Researcher
  • Erica
    Grant
    Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Mihovil
    Joja
    PhD Student
  • Elena
    Monzel
    PhD Student
  • Amrei
    Rolof
    Laboratory Assistant
  • Stéphanie
    Willieme
    Laboratory Technician

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