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The Human Microbiota in Health and Disease

Recent years’ research has highlighted the importance of the human microbiota, i.e. the trillions of microorganisms that colonize different surfaces of our body. We are starting to understand how important this microbiota is in terms of its impact on e.g. physiological functions and shaping the immune system. Changes of the microbial composition can dispose for diseases, ranging from allergy and other inflammatory conditions to obesity and cancer. Our team focuses on microbiota-human host interactions in health and disease. The work includes:

- molecular mapping of complex microbiotas of the human superorganism, with a special focus on the skin and oral microbiota

- population genetics and taxonomy of human-associated bacterial species, including pan-genomics of important skin microorganisms

- unravel disease associations of members of the human skin microbiota

- host-bacterium interactions to study bacterial interference on the human host

Our work aims at gaining insight into microbial (host-interacting) properties in order to facilitate identification, prevention, and treatment of microbiota-associated diseases.