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SULFUR METABOLISM IN THE HUMAN MICROBIOME
Colorectal cancer (CRC), is amongst the most frequent causes of cancer death and affects in excess of 1.36 million people every year. Emerging evidence suggests that intestinal microbial flora and their associated metabolism in the human gut are a major determinant in the emergence and progression of such colorectal carcinomas and adenomas. An important environmental risk factor that could explain the observed differences in microbiome signatures is the presence of exogenous microbial metabolites such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) associated with the degradation of secondary bile acids.
In collaboration with Dr. Patricia Wolf, Dr. Rex Gaskins, and Dr. Jason Ridlon at the University of Illinois, we are studying the role of microbiomes in driving dysbiosis in the gut with a focus on sulfur transformations and microbial sulfur metabolism.
MS MICROBIOME AND VIROME
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that targets the central nervous system (CNS) and causes symptoms such as numbness, dizziness, vertigo, motor weakness, and visual disturbances. Although the exact etiology of MS is still undefined, genetic and environmental factors influence MS onset. One of the potential environmental factors that may play an important role in MS is the gut microbiome.
In collaboration with Dr. Sanjay Shukla from the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, we are using multi-omics studies to investigate the roles of microorganisms in the etiopathogenesis of MS.