The gut microbiota plays an important role in human health and physiology. The major factor regulating the microbiota composition and activity is our diet, which consists of multiple macro and micro-nutrients such as amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates etc.
Our lab studies how diet interacts with bacteria in the gut to produce metabolites that affect host immunity, metabolism and organ functions. Specifically, we are interested in discovering novel molecular mechanisms the govern the effects of dietary sulfur amino acids (methionine and cysteine) and dietary fiber on host diseases such as chronic kidney disease and colorectal cancer.
Previously, we provided a proof-of-concept that dietary sulfur amino acids correlate with the concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the colon, and in-turn H2S induces a post-translational modification termed S-sulfhydration on reactive cysteine residues of bacterial and host proteins. We found that feeding a chronic kidney disease mouse model with diet high in sulfur amino acids resulted in higher S-sulfhydration of the bacterial enzyme tryptophanase that inhibited its production of the uremic toxin indoxyl sulfate. Tryptophanase inhibition alleviated kidney disease in these mice, compared to diet low in sulfur amino acids.
- Profile post-translational modifications in gut bacteria and study their effects on bacterial activity and host health.
- Study the metaproteome of gut bacteria in relation to dietary changes and diseases, such as colorectal cancer.
- Characterize the effects of bacteria on host immune and colonic epithelial cells proteome and PTM profiles.
We are currently looking to hire enthusiastic researchers for MSc and PhD students, as well as for postdoc positions.
You will have the chance to work on the grand challenges of gut microbiota research, at the interface of diet-microbe-host interactions. You will be involved in determining the important and interesting questions, creating and improving experimental setups, performing experiments, and making discoveries.
If you are interested in working with us as a MSc student, PhD student or postdoc, please send an email. State briefly why you are interested and attach a CV. No need for a separate cover letter or certificates. Important: please insert “Application PhD” or “Application Postdoc” in the subject line. If you are applying to a specific advertisement, note this in your email.