The role of intestinal microbial metabolites in regulation of host physiology

Funding Details
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Grant type: Discovery Grants Program - Individual
  • Years: 2013/14 to 2018/19
  • Total Funding: $204,000
Keywords
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Project Summary

An abundant population of microbes colonizes the mammalian gut. There are substantial variations in the structure of the microbial community between individuals, and over the past decade it has become increasingly apparent that this population plays an important role in shaping host physiology, although through largely uncharacterized mechanisms. When food is consumed microbes actively metabolizes dietary constituents resulting in the production of diverse molecules, which have the potential to impact host physiology. I propose to investigate how select members of the microbial population affect the production of molecules that impact the host by systematically removing bacterial populations from from the gut. We will measure how the changes in microbial population affect the production of signaling molecules and subsequently change host physiology. The findings of this research will provide new insights into the ecology and metabolic activity of our microbial symbionts and identify new bioactive molecules as well as host signaling pathways involved in microbial regulation of the host. In characterizing the fundamentals of microbe-mammalian interactions we will begin understand how changes in the microbiota impact the host. Having an improved understanding of the way microbes contribute to intestinal physiology will benefit Canada by providing new tools and strategies to improve intestinal health of both humans and animals and will facilitate antibiotic free animal production systems.