Did you know that the bacterial composition in your intestine is as unique as your fingerprint? Or that these little microorganisms strongly influence how your respond to pharmaceuticals? Learn more about these fascinating topics in the current episode of “Exzellent erklärt” – the podcast of all 57 German Clusters of Exzellence.
This time with the Tübingen Cluster “Controlling microbes to fight infections” (CMFI):
Dr. Lisa Maier is a junior research group leader in the cluster and specializes in the gut microbiome. In her group, she researches antibiotics and other drugs and tries to find out to what extent they affect the health of our gut microbiome. Some of them have positive effects (sometimes unintentionally), while others harm the community of microorganisms in our gut. Finding out exactly which drugs cause which effects is the goal of Lisa Maier’s research.
Microbial communities, known as microbiomes, colonize the surfaces of the human body. In addition to bacteria that have a positive influence on human health, the microbiome also contains potentially deadly pathogens. Broad-spectrum antibiotics were often used against these pathogens in past decades. It is now clear that this not only promotes the emergence of antibiotic resistance, but in many cases also damages the microbiome as a whole. The researchers of the Cluster of Excellence CMFI now want to develop a new strategy to control infections. Their goal is to develop new targeted agents that have a positive effect on microbiomes. It is known, for example, that beneficial bacteria can keep their dangerous conspecifics in check. To understand the underlying mechanisms and make them usable, researchers from molecular, bioinformatics and clinical disciplines will collaborate within the Cluster of Excellence.