Microbiota characterization and modulation through the use of generated probiotic strains to combat colitis-associated colon cancer

A higher incidence of colon cancer is reported in populations consuming high amounts of red meat, as well as in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, where gut bacteria participate in the development of inflammation. We found that dietary supplementation with heme, an element found at high levels in blood, is detrimental to gut health and it fosters the growth of harmful bacteria. In this project, we propose to establish new procedures for both the manipulation of the gut bacteria (microbiota), as well as its characterization using a new state of the art sequencer. We will generate probiotics (live bacteria that promote health) to reduce intestinal heme levels in order to protect the gut from inflammation. Novel technologies and equipment for fast and cost-effective characterization of the gut microbiota will allow the introduction of microbiota characterization in the clinic and implementation of personalized medicine.

Faculty Supervisor:

Manuela Santos


Marco Constante









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