About the Lab

The Gut Microbiome Laboratory of Purna C. Kashyap, M.B.B.S., studies the mechanisms by which gut microbes influence health and disease.

The human gastrointestinal tract harbors 100 trillion microbes that live in harmony with their human host and perform processes vital for health. Changes in the normal gut microbiota (dysbiosis) have been associated with a number of disease states.

Problems attributed to changes in the gut microbiota include infections, such as Clostridium difficile colitis; diseases associated with changes in gastrointestinal function, such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease; and metabolic diseases, such as obesity. However, the functional role of gut microbes in the development of these diseases remains largely unknown.

Projects in Dr. Kashyap's laboratory aim to elucidate the complex interactions between diet, gut microbes, host genotype and gastrointestinal function. To pursue these objectives, the lab integrates data generated from multiomic platforms with in vivo and in vitro physiological measurements from human research participants and gnotobiotic mouse models. These data allow the team to identify novel bacterial taxa and functions and microbial metabolites that affect the key regulators of gastrointestinal function.

By combining experimental strategies with bioinformatics analysis, Dr. Kashyap's research team hopes to develop novel microbiota-targeted therapies to treat patients with disorders resulting from altered microbiota function.