Speaker: Lisa Maier (CMFI)
Host: Felix M. Key (MPI for Infection Biology)
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In the past two decades, a fundamental role of the gut microbiome in host physiology and pathology has been established. Shifts in the microbiome signature have been associated with increased risk of a wide range of different diseases, ranging from infections to diverse non-communicable diseases. Recently, medication has arisen as one of the most potent modulators of gut microbiome composition. For the vast majority of these drugs that modulate microbiome composition, the corresponding drug targets in these microbes (if any) remain unknown. Furthermore, it is unclear whether their impact on microbial growth is part of their mode-of-action and whether they are responsible for side effects seen in humans. A detailed understanding of these interactions will lead to improvements in the efficacy of current therapies and the development of new drugs for targeted gut microbiome manipulations.
In my talk, I will present our recent findings on drug-microbiome-host interactions. In particular, I will discuss examples of how we combine state-of-the-art high-throughput screening platforms for anaerobic bacteria, bacterial genetics, and gnotobiotic animal models to understand how drugs can affect microbial communities, how such interactions impact the host, and how drugs can be used to restore a healthy microbiome balance.