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Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht (logo)

Microbiota-host interactions in the intestine

Friday 29 January 2016

The intestinal microbiota plays a key role in in the development of several diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. While the microbiota consists of >100 different bacterial species that vary immensely between individuals, it is believed that the majority of these diseases are driven by just a limited number of ‘pathogenic’ commensals, often living within the intestinal mucus layer in close proximity or attached to intestinal epithelial cells. The interactions of this pathogenic subset of the microbiota with the host epithelium and immune system are still mostly unclear but believed to dramatically impact on disease. The focus of our research is therefore to reveal and characterize the pathogenic subset of the microbiota, to understand the molecular mechanisms behind pathological host-microbiota interactions, and to develop and test putative therapeutic approaches.

Techniques include:
Genetic engineering of commensal bacteria and eukaryotic cells by mutagenesis, transfection/transduction and CRISPR/Cas9;
Multiple molecular biology techniques including immunofluorescence microscopy, live cell imaging, cloning, RT-PCR, Western blot, protein purification, ELISA and FACS;
Next-generation sequencing techniques like 16S rDNA sequencing, bacterial whole genome sequencing, IgA-SEQ and RNA-SEQ;
Anaerobic bacteria/microbiota culturing;
In vivo infection experiments with wild type and mutated bacteria.

9 months (6 months)

Dr. Marcel de Zoete, Tel: (030) 253 4755, m.r.dezoete@uu.nl