Research Title: Immunomodulatory potential of Free Microbial metabolites: Leveraging metabolomics to identify bioactive compounds that promote immune homeostasis in the gut
Project Background: The microbiome is the prominent force shaping the immune landscape in the gut. Changes in composition of the gut microbiota are associated with a myriad of autoimmune and metabolic disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Despite extensive research efforts, the molecular mechanism underlying these associations is lacking. Within the gut, microbial metabolites can cross the epithelial barrier and alter the metabolism or transcriptional programming in the host cell. As such, this study postulates that free microbial metabolites (FMMs) can exert immunomodulatory effects which can be harnessed for therapeutic potential. Using an unbiased approach, this study aims to parse out the impact of free microbial metabolites on key immune parameters such as gut permeability and immune makeup.
Namrata did her Masters degree in Biotechnology followed by a PhD from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in 2014. Her work focused on virulence mechanisms employed by the pathogen Salmonella typhimurium. She further did her postdoctoral training with Dr. Shipra Vaishnava at Brown University on the influence of vitamin A on host-microbiome interactions. Namrata is a Postdoc in the Microbiome & Mucosal Immunity Lab, led by Dr Sinéad Corr, at Trinity College Dublin.