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Currie lab news! New human microbiome funding, and the importance of citizen science

Monday, July 03, 2017
by Jenny Bratburd

You're not alone when you when you have a microbiome!

Here at the Currie lab we are very excited to work on our new project, “The Human Microbiome in Health and Disease”, funded by the the University of Wisconsin's UW2020 initiative . Through this research, we plan to leverage samples collected from large cohort studies, including the Children's Respiratory Research (CREW) and the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) with the University of Wisconsin Madison's growing gnotobiotic animal facility to detect new biomarkers of diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer's and develop novel drug leads. See more details here: [https://research.wisc.edu/funding/uw2020/round-3-projects/the-human-microbiome-in-health-and-disease/]

I am also excited to continue studying the interactions between the human gut microbiota and pathogens with funding from the Microbes in Health and Disease Training grant, part of the NIH-funded T32 program [https://mhdtg.wisc.edu/]. Often when we think of microbes in disease, we image pathogens that cause sickness, but microbes can also play a role in preventing infections. As the importance of the microbiome is increasingly recognized, the gut microbiota is an excellent system to explore for future antimicrobial drugs against specific pathogens that leave the host and native microbiota relatively undisturbed. With our new funding, we will begin to investigate the possibilities of drug development based on metabolites made by the human gut microbiome.

Sharing our research with the public is an important goal in the Currie lab, and I'm also glad to be able to share this essay I wrote for the Lasker Foundation essay contest on engaging the public with citizen science. [http://www.laskerfoundation.org/new-noteworthy/articles/winners-2017-essay-contest/]

 

 

Tags: Microbiome

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