Human Gut Microbiota

Investigating bacteria in the gut to improve human health

PictureTrillions of bacteria reside in each human body, providing a myriad of beneficial and harmful services.  Bacteria in the human gut play in important role in nutrient acquisition and energy regulation and affect how we feel and perform on a daily basis.  In partnership with Mayo Clinic Arizona, we are leading research in understanding how the human gut microbiota affect human health, with a focus on energy extraction.  

We have published studies that reveal a link between differing microbial populations in the human gut and body weight among normal-weight individuals, those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, and patients classified as morbidly obese.  We are working to identify microbes that serve as indicators for weight loss and surgery success, or are candidates for flora modification.  We are developing mathematical models to better understand these microbes utilize the proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids we consume.  This information can then be applied to develop therapies to promote weight reduction and better health.