Alex is a postdoc working on microbiome research with Sasha Zhernakova. Their team aims to explore the interactions between the human microbiome and other kind of human ‘omics’ data to investigate the possible impact of the microbiota on human health.
Using data from the LifeLines-DEEP population cohort, they showed how the gut microbiome is shaped by external and intrinsic factors such as diet, medication and diseases (Zhernakova et al, Science, 2016). Now Alex is focusing on further analysis of the microbiome’s role in shaping human serum metabolism, which is the key element in many metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease events.
We know far less about the exposome than we do about the human genome. So far, we only understand about half of the disease burden for which we know the environment plays a role. If we want to prevent people from becoming ill, then we need to understand the other half too. We therefore want to systematically analyse the exposome for the first time. We will start with research into the causes of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The techniques and insights from this research will also be applicable to other chronic conditions.Read More