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The goals of the Sonnenburg Lab research program are to (i) elucidate the basic mechanisms that underlie dynamics within the gut microbiota and (ii) devise and implement strategies to prevent and treat disease in humans via the gut microbiota. We investigate the principles that govern gut microbial community function and interaction with the host using experimental systems ranging from gnotobiotic mice to humans. We pursue molecular mechanisms of host-microbial interaction using an array of technologies including gnotobiotic and conventional mouse models, quantitative imaging, molecular genetics and synthetic biology, and a metabolomics pipeline focused on defining microbiota-dependent metabolites. The synergy of these diverse techniques provides insight into the dynamics of a microbial ecosystem in response to cues ranging from nutrition to pathogen-induced inflammation. Studies of microbiomes diverse human cohorts, ranging from indigenous populations in Africa, Asia, and South America to dietary intervention trials in cohorts of US residents, have provided great insight into microbiome dynamics and fuel a pipeline of reverse translational studies.
Contrasting Ketogenic and Mediterranean Diets in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes: The Keto-Med Trial
The objective of this study is to compare two metabolically distinct diets, WFKD vs Med-Plus,
in order to examine the potential benefits, and unintended consequences, of going beyond a
focus on maximally avoiding added sugars and refined grains, to also avoiding legumes,
fruits, and whole grains.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.
For more information, please contact Jennifer Robinson, PhD, 650-736-8577.
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The RAMP Study - Rejuvenation of the Aging Microbiota With Prebiotics
An individual's immune and metabolic status is coupled to consumed carbohydrates. Complex
carbohydrates that are not digested by human enzymes may influence host biology by impacting
microbiota composition and function, or act in a yet-unknown microbiota-independent manner.
Prebiotics offer a promising safe route to influence host health, possibly via the
microbiota. However, it remains largely unknown to what extent immune function and metabolism
can be modulated by prebiotics.