Microbes as Therapeutics

We are interested in the interactions between microbes and hosts, how those interactions impact health, and how they can be targeted to treat disease. Microbial cells outnumber human cells in our bodies by over 10 fold. These microbes produce a range of bioactive molecules that our cells encounter and respond to continually. Delineating the mechanisms through which these products act on host cells will open the window to intelligent design of a range of therapeutic options: 1) Probiotics to increase populations of microbes that produce proven therapeutic agents, 2) Prebiotics to “feed” existing microbiome members specific substrates that are converted into therapeutic metabolites, 3) Phages as biotherapeutics to specifically remove microbes that produce disease promoting products, 4) Bioengineered microbes that produce recombinant therapeutic agents, and 5) Traditional pharmacological molecules that activate or inhibit host pathways targeted by beneficial or problematic microbial products.

Microbial-based Therapeutics Laboratory
Department of Surgery – Division of Surgical Oncology
Kaul Genetics Building 834