Minako Ito, PhD | Kyushu University; Matthias Truttmann, PhD | University of Michigan Medical School; James Chan, PhD | Skin Research Institute of Singapore, A*STAR
Competition Sponsor: Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
Awardee Year: 2020
The gut microbiome represents a continuously changing community of microorganisms that interacts with the human immune system and pre-processes our food. Recent work has demonstrated direct links between the gut microbiota and host health and aging. As such, the development of probiotic interventions holds great promise as a novel approach to increase healthspan. However, our knowledge of how bacteria-derived metabolites alter host signaling and health is limited. Our overall objective is to define the core mechanisms by which bacterial metabolites contribute to the regulation of organismal health and longevity. Our central hypothesis is that gut bacteria-derived metabolites, such as colanic acid and hypotaurine, regulate lifespan through the hormetic activation of cellular stress responses. Understanding these processes will lay the foundation necessary to pharmacologically target the human gut microbiome and exploit engineered probiotics to prolong health- and lifespan in humans. These goals will be achieved by combining technically and conceptionally innovative approaches with rigorous validation across a series of model systems, that each provide unique advantages.
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