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mSystems. 2018 Mar 20;3(2). pii: e00165-17. doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00165-17. eCollection 2018 Mar-Apr.

Toward Personalized Control of Human Gut Bacterial Communities.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
2
Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

A key challenge in microbiology will be developing tools for manipulating human gut bacterial communities. Our ability to predict and control the dynamics of these communities is now in its infancy. To manage human gut microbiota, I am developing methods in three research domains. First, I am refining in vitro tools to experimentally study gut microbes at high throughput and in controlled settings. Second, I am adapting "big data" techniques to overcome statistical challenges confronting microbiota modeling. Third, I am testing study designs that can streamline human testing of microbiota manipulations. Assembling these methods creates new challenges, including training scientists who can work across disciplines such as engineering, ecology, and medicine. Nevertheless, I envision that overcoming these obstacles will enable my group to construct platforms that can personalize microbiota treatments, particularly ones based on diet. More broadly, I anticipate that such platforms will have applications across fields such as agriculture, biotechnology, and environmental management.

KEYWORDS:

human microbiome; microbiome engineering; systems biology

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: L.A.D. has patents relevant to microfluidic assays pending. Conflict of Interest Disclosures: L.A.D. has patents relevant to microfluidic assays pending.

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