Dr. Ashutosh Mangalam, member of the EHSRC, received a four-year VA Merit Award entitled, “Effect of Gut Microbiome Dysbiosis in the Pathobiology of Multiple Sclerosis”. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system and affects around one million people in the US. The proposed studies will build upon recent findings from Dr. Mangalam’s laboratory showing that patients with MS have gut dysbiosis (altered gut microbiome compared to healthy controls). This study will test the hypothesis that gut dysbiosis promotes MS through enrichment of pathobionts which leads to leaky gut syndrome in addition to depletion of Equol producing gut bacteria. The latter are an important class of gut bacteria responsible for metabolizing phytoestrogen into beneficial compounds. Dr. Mangalam will utilize samples from MS patients and healthy control as well as from animal models of MS, to determine the mechanism(s) through which gut microbiome plays a role in the pathobiology of MS. Dr. Deema Fattal, a neurologist at the Iowa City VA and Dr. Kai Wang, a biostatistician in the College of Public Health are the co-investigators participating in the study. The focus of Dr. Mangalam’s team is to better understand the role of the gut microbiome in MS with a long term goal of manipulating the gut microbiome as a treatment option for MS patients.
This notice was first published by the University of Iowa Department of Pathology.