Sasha Zhernakova

The research team of Alexandra (Sasha) Zhernakova studies the role of various genetic and environmental factors in the predisposition to common diseases and traits, including gastrointestinal and autoimmune diseases, and ageing. A major research line focuses on the composition of the gut microbiome, the factors that shape the microbiome―including genetics, diet, medication and other environmental factors―and the role of the microbiome in gut health and common diseases.


Public Health Relevance of Drug-Nutrition Interactions

Péter S, Navis G, de Borst MH, von Schacky C, van Orten-Luiten AB, Zhernakova A, Witkamp RF, Janse A, Weber P, Bakker SJL, Eggersdorfer M.
iScience. 2020 Jan 24; 23(1): 100765

Sasha Zhernakova

Contact information

University Medical Center Groningen
Department of Genetics, CB50
Building 3211; PO Box 30001
9700 RB Groningen
The Netherlands


Areas of Expertise

Bioinformatics Genetics Microbiomics

Our ultimate goal is that people live healthily for longer

Our ultimate goal is that people live healthily for longer

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.

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