Manuel Kleiner has received a $1.8 million grant for a five-year project from the National Institutes of Health to learn more about the interactions between the microbial community inhabiting the gut and the proteins these microbes eat, and how these interactions affect host health.
“I hypothesize that different dietary protein sources and host-derived compounds will have vastly different impacts on the intestinal microbiome and thus need to be considered when studying the interconnection of diet, the microbiome and host health,” Kleiner said of the study. He is an assistant professor of plant and microbial biology and a member of the Microbiomes and Complex Microbial Communities cluster in the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program.
The MIRA (Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award) grant comes from the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), which supports basic research that increases understanding of biological processes to drive disease diagnoses, treatment and prevention.
Some of Kleiner’s previous work centered on discerning microbial foods and the changes that occur in the native virus community in the intestinal tract during intestinal inflammation.
Ultimately, Kleiner said, the long-term goals of the study are to develop approaches that “allow us to quantitatively and reproducibly determine functional interactions in microbial communities, and to define critical interactions between the microbiota and dietary proteins that will inform the development of therapeutic interventions.”
This post was originally published in NC State News.