Aberrant host:microbiome cross-talk as an underlying mechanisms in co-morbidities.

Call Reference: 
SC1-BHC-01-2019
Short description of project idea : 
The human gut microbiota plays an important regulatory role in host metabolism and immune function. Similarly, recent studies have shown that both intestinal microorganisms themselves and their metabolites can impact on brain function, effecting mood, cognitive function and mental health. We also know that close adherence to diets rich in fiber, polyphenols, beneficial fats and fermented foods are protective against chronic disease and correlate with physical and mental health. Intriguingly, these foods also regulate the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiota, providing a mechanistic link between the microbiome and chronic diseases processes which manifest as distinct co-morbidities in different body sites. This proposal will address the underlying disease mechanisms linking co-morbid chronic diseases. Using existing datasets and samples from relevant observational and intervention studies, we will identify the both immune and metabolite signalling processes linking microbiome to pathological processes. In a bespoke well powered dietary intervention, we will measure how different dietary approaches can be used to modulate these microbiota related signalling processes to regulate chronic disease risk and co-morbidity. Finally, we will provide near to market products, preventative treatment strategies and therapeutic targets to reduce the societal and economic burden of chronic diseases and their co-morbidities, and boost the European Agrifood sector.
Health
Main areas of expertise: 
Afri-food research, metabolomics, metagenomics, humna nutrition, functional foods.
Main objectives of the project and how will they be achieved: 
Title: 
Aberrant host:microbiome cross-talk as an underlying mechanisms in co-morbidities.
Description: 
Main objectives of the project are: Objective 1: correlate microbial metabolic and immune regulatory processes with chronic diseases/co-morbidities Delivery: analysis of samples from existing large cohort/observational studies conducted by project partners. Objective 2: select list of microbial metabolic/immune regulators for investigation in dietary intervention studies. Delivery:: multivariate statistics will be used to find correlations between microbial metabolites in blood and immune/metabolic pathways linked to chronic disease processes. - Objective 3: in vitro/animal models confirming role of selected microbial metabolic/immune regulators to impact on pathological processes underlying chronic diseases/co-morbidities . Delivery: in vitro fermentation models and animal models of disease will be used to link dietary components to microbial metabolites, and microbial metabolites to disease mechanisms under controlled laboratory conditions. Objective 4: large well powered dietary intervention designed to modulate selected microbial metabolic/immune regulators and confirm ability to modulate pathological processes in chronic diseases/co-morbidities . Delivery: appropriate study design and statistical power will be used to perform validation experiments in people at risk of chronic disease and linked co-morbidities. Objective 5: multi-omics analysis of biological samples form observational and intervention studies to confirm mechanistic pathway linking dietary modulation of the gut microbiota, metabolic/immune regulation and chronic disease/co-morbidity pathological processes. Delivery: metagenomics, metabolomics and other high resolution post genomic technologies will be employed to provide data rich information on how diet:microbe interactions modulate metabolic and immune pathways in chronic disease and associated co-morbidities. Objective 5: formulation of near to market microbiota modulatory products, IP protection Delivery: we will work closely with industrial partners and other stakeholders to provide new products, therapeutic targets and new treatments for chronic disease and co-morbidities linked.
Challenges that may determine the impact of the project: 
Title: 
Aberrant host:microbiome cross-talk as an underlying mechanisms in co-morbidities.
Description: 
Selection of most relevant chronic disease : co-morbidity. Selection of best academic partners to meet the challenges of the project. Selection of industrial partners willing to play an active role in the project wiht a clear strategy for capitalizing on the research output. Project management.
Partners that have already expressed interest in the project and expected role: 
Title: 
Aberrant host:microbiome cross-talk as an underlying mechanisms in co-morbidities.
Description: 
Clinical partners in Italy, and Israel and Ireland.
Profile of partners sought and expected role: 
Title: 
Aberrant host:microbiome cross-talk as an underlying mechanisms in co-morbidities.
Description: 
Clinical/medical partners with access to large patient populations and/or existing cohort studies. Academic partners with capabilities to run medium scale dietary interventions in different patient groups (typically n=100-200) Industrial partners with strong track record in research and development, and a history of translation of research results into real economic and societal (medical) benefit.
Previous, relevant EU project experience: 
Title: 
Aberrant host:microbiome cross-talk as an underlying mechanisms in co-morbidities.
Programme: 
JPI-HDHL: CirculAting Bile Acids as biomarkers of metabolic health - Linking microbiotA, Diet and Health
Title: 
Aberrant host:microbiome cross-talk as an underlying mechanisms in co-morbidities.
Programme: 
JPI-HDHL: The Food Biomarkers Alliance (FOODBALL)
Specific countries/regions/cities you are keen to collaborate with: 
Academic/clinical partners: any country outside Italy. Industrial partners: all countries including Italy.
First Name: 
Francesca
Last Name: 
Fava
Name of the organisation: 
Fondazione Edmund Mach
Short description of organisation: 
Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM) is the first One Health Centre in Italy which carry out interdisciplinary research and innovations in the fields of modern and sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition, environment and health, with the aim to generate new sharing knowledge and to contribute to economic growth, social development and the overall improvement of quality of life. Our mission - We carry out research at an international level, collaborating with institutes and universities from around the world. Our results impact the larger scientific community and the world at large. Our staff - Over 200 research scientists operate within FEM, equally balanced between male and female presence, with an average age of 36 years and a highly international background. The Department of Food Quality and Nutrition (DQAN) at FEM conducts research to improve the qualitative, technological and nutritional characteristics of agri-food products in order to improve their economic value and respond to consumer needs and improve human health. Research activities are carried out using new study methods, based on advanced technological platforms and infrastructures (metabolomics, metagenomics, stable isotopes, sensory panels, innovation incubators, dietary interventions), and by adopting an integrated approach of a multidisciplinary nature. Innovative technical platforms and a systematic approach make it possible to carry out studies of fundamental significance, generate new study methods, high resolution and large datasets, and to obtain improved knowledge of food composition and functionality. The Department aims to support product and processing innovation based on knowledge of the food and agriculture sector. It promotes the use of research in the fields of biological sciences, Biotechnology, consumer science, sensory science, metabolomics, metagenomics, human nutrition, and traceability as tools for innovative production. It carries out research, both in the laboratory and at the pilot project and company levels, providing scientific support for the creation of products and processes with added value, based on knowledge, ideas and innovation.

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