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Mechanisms of microbiota-mediated defence against various infectious diseases

Group and collaboration

Collaboration: Ed Kuijper (Department of Medical Microbiology Leiden University Medical Center)

PhD student: Quinten Ducarmon

PhD defence

Dissertation: Microbiome-mediated colonization resistance: Defense against enteropathogens and multi-drug resistant organisms

Date: 23 March 2022

Project description

This project aims to understand the mechanisms of microbiota-mediated defence against various infectious diseases and other diseases in which the microbiota plays an important role. Projects have been started to study the microbiota in children with haematological diseases and patients with intestinal recurrent infections. New projects are planned with patients participating in clinical trials to treat neurological diseases, kidney diseases, psychiatric diseases, and metabolic syndromes. The long-term goal is to identify bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and metabolites that affect the composition of the human microbiota and subsequently can be tested in tissue, and animal or human intervention models. Metagenomic profiling of the intestinal microbiota will be performed in close collaboration with biostatisticians, bioinformaticians, molecular biologists and microbiologists.

Complex Systems & Metagenomics is the overarching theme for more than 10 PhD tracks in NCOH projects to create new interdisciplinary, inter-thematic, and inter-institutional research collaborations.

PhD student interview

Interview: Microbiome and its relation with disease is the perfect topic for me

‘I have been curious about the human body since a young age. And especially in why some people fall ill, while others do not. During my education I learned a lot about human health and disease, but something was still missing. After my master MSc internship at the department of Microbiology & Systems Biology at TNO, I knew that I wanted to continue in the field of microbiome research. Its intriguing relationship with many different diseases and even with effectiveness in response to therapy is what makes this topic perfect for me.’


Project news

First NCOH PhD student graduates cum laude on gut microbiome

On 23 March 2022, Quinten Ducarmon was the first PhD candidate within the PhD research programme of the Netherlands Centre for One Health to graduate, and he did so with distinction (cum laude). In his research he aims to identify intestinal bacteria that may play a role in colonization resistance against potential pathogens and antibiotic-resistant microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract.