Responsible Center: TRISH
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2019 TRISH RFA-1901-PD Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) Postdoctoral Fellowships
Grant/Contract No.: NNX16AO69A-P0401
Project Type: GROUND
No. of Post Docs: 1
No. of PhD Candidates: 0
No. of Master's Candidates: 0
No. of Bachelor's Candidates: 1
No. of PhD Degrees: 0
No. of Master's Degrees: 0
No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 1
|| POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP
Genetically engineered therapeutic microbes (synthetic microbes) represent a promising approach to modulating the gut microbiome and enhancing human health. In particular, this new therapeutic modality has the potential to mitigate several risks defined by the Human Research Program, such as restricted pharmacy resources, altered astronaut immune response, inadequate nutrition, host-microorganism interactions, and adverse cognitive disorders. Ingested synthetic microbes provide the opportunity to carry out therapeutic and prophylactic functions on-demand, directly in the gut while minimizing personnel, equipment, and space requirements beyond those for food supply. However, there are two major challenges to implementing synthetic microbes in humans: stable, long-term delivery or administration, and effective genetic parts that function in the gut.
This proposal focuses on overcoming the latter challenge. In this proposed work, we hypothesize that gastrointestinal (GI) polymeric devices can be used to uncover GI location-specific genetic promoters. If successful, this work will generate a reference toolbox of genetic parts that can be used by the field to develop effective interventions based on genetically engineered microbes. The specific aims of this proposal are (1) to develop a device that can stably localize microbes in the GI tract and (2) to deploy this device in swine to profile the set of microbial genes that are expressed and repressed in each GI location.
|Research Impact/Earth Benefits:
|| During this reporting period, we have developed two key technologies with significant impact beyond this project.
Impact 1: A manufacturing method for microchambers compatible with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Impact 2: A testing platform for microbial genetics in large animals.