The human intestinal tract harbors a rich microbial population – the microbiota – which is critical to health in many ways. In healthy adults, the gut microbiota is highly diverse, personal in composition and relatively stable in time. Abnormal microbiota composition, reduced stability and diversity i.e. microbiota dysbiosis has been linked with a number intestinal as well as systemic diseases.
Our research group combines two lines of research, which complement each other:
i) In collaboration with Helsinki University Hospital (HUH) clinicians, we study the role of intestinal bacteria in health/disease and the therapeutic possibilities via microbiota modulation by using fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). Our clinical trials provide causal prove of microbiota changes in disease progression/regression, while microbiota analysis and studies on mucosal biology lead to understanding of microbiological mechanisms i.e. specific bacteria underlying the treatment efficacy.
ii) We isolate pure cultures of intestinal bacteria with therapeutic potential and assess their properties in mechanistic host-microbe studies by using various in vitro models. The final goal is to develop microbiota-based therapies for intestinal and systemic health.