Microbiome Role in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Heterogeneity and Response to Treatment

Primary Researchers:

Hera Vlamakis

Principal Investigator: Ramnik Xavier, Hera Vlamakis

Project Summary:

We are investigating the role of the gut microbiome on severity and response to treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC) patients. We hypothesize that differences in the mucosal microbial composition may provide valuable insights into variability in disease extent and severity in UC and could additionally be harnessed to understand and predict response to medical therapies. Our aims are to i) identify mechanisms driving UC progression from left-sided colitis to pancolitis; ii) characterize microorganisms in the intestinal mucosa of patients with acute, severe UC and identify factors associated with refractoriness to medical therapy; iii) analyze the mucosal microbial profile and treatment responses in UC patients with extreme disease phenotypes and iv) elucidate the function of specific microbes and metabolites in UC disease.