IDEAS Laboratory:Center for Microbiome & Inflammatory Research

Dr. Deanna L. Gibson

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Healthy Murine Colon

    Intestinal microbiome:   neonate colonization, maternal and postnatal nutritional and other environmental
     effects on dysbiosis, relationship with the host innate immune system, effects on IBD, enteric disease suscpetilbity
     and type 1 Diabetes.

    Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):    to find a cure; targeting healing processes, tissue repair for long
     term remission.

    Intestinal pathogens:    innate host responses to acute colitis, interaction and dynamics with intestinal microbiota.

    Mucosal intestinal immunity:    gastroenteritis, acute colitis, mucosal integrity, intestinal barrier function, intestinal homeostasis, intestinal stem cell
     proliferation, Toll-like receptor signaling, intestinal cytoprotective responses, intestinal wound healing.

    Pharmaceutical Immunology:    probiotic pharmaceuticals, synthetic and natural anti-microbial and immune modulatory drugs.

Commensal Bacteroidetes (red) and gamma-proteobacteria (greeninteracting with the intestinal mucosa

    The Center of Microbiome and Inflammatory Disease (CMID) laboratory investigates the emerging and exciting field of
    microbiome research that evaluates the factors which influence microbiota establishment in mammals. Since the ecology
    of microbiota can affect health and disease susceptibility, this research could lead to therapies for chronic inflammatory
    diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diabetes and obesity.

The intestinal microbiome includes a complex and diverse environment of microbes and their genetic material that interact intimately with the host mucosal-immune system. The microbiota normally lives in harmony with the intestine and plays a significant role in the development of intestinal immune responses in neonates. Compelling emerging evidence has identified the intestinal microbiome as a major factor contributing to the etiology of IBD; dysbiosis, or altered microbial populations, have been observed in patients with IBD. Any significant alterations made to the microbiota's ecology would likely have a significant impact on the hostís immune responses with wide- ranging biological consequences since components of the intestinal microbiome play a crucial role in the early development of both local and systemic immunity. To date, however, little is known about the evolution of an individualís microbiome or its role in health and disease. Understanding the dynamics of microbial population changes along with their transciptomes may offer insight into the role each population plays during intestinal homeostasis and disease. CMID investigates the intestinal microbiome and determine the contributing roles of environmental factors (with a focus on postnatal and maternal diets) and genetics. The research program aims to understand how the intestinal microbiome is affected by dietary and innate immune factors and in turn, how diet can protect against intestinal disease.

    The overall hypothesis of the lab is that environmental factors, such as nutrition, physical activity, drugs and stress
    influence the ecology and functioning of the intestinal microbiome, which alters disease susceptibility (Figure below).


    Using animal models of IBD and type 1 diabetes we examine:

   (i) The role of maternal and postnatal dietary influence on altering the intestinal
         microbiome, innate immune responses,and susceptibility to IBD.

   (ii) The role of innate immunity on controlling the ecology and functioning of the
         intestinal microbiome, and how this relates to host susceptibilities to IBD.

   (iii) The potential for therapeutic approaches in correcting microbiome 'deficiencies'
          using probiotics to influence colonization and altering disease risk.

   (iv) How drugs interact with the microbiome and protect against chronic inflammation

   (v) The role of the microbiome and intestinal inflammation in type 1 diabetes onset

Commensal Firmicutes (red) interacting with the intestinal epithelial cells

          Intestinal Disease Education & Awareness Society (IDEAS)
          Canadian Foundation for Innovation
          Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
          Child and Family Research Institute Diabetes Group
          Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Macrophages (red) and Neutrophils (green) infiltrating into the gut submucosa during colonic inflammation

    2010-2011 Intestinal Disease and Education Awareness Society Website and facebook site

    April 6, 2011 "UBC study: Microbiota fend off intestinal infections" by Bud Mortensen

    April 11, 2011 "Undergrad size ="4"uate wins research award" by Deanna Robershttp