News & Events
Alan K Jarmusch, Ph.D.
Posted on October 19, 2018
Date - October 19, 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Dr. Alan Jarmusch
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of California San Diego
Talk Title: Half human, half microbe: Investigating microbiome-associated molecules in humans via untargeted metabolomics
Half human, half microbe: Investigating microbiome-associated molecules in humans via untargeted metabolomics
The ratio of microbial to human cells in the body is estimated to be nearly 1:1. The bacterial composition of the microbiome has been studied in detail by the NIH Human Microbiome Project, yet little is known about the molecules produced (or modified) by the microbiome and their impact on human health. Untargeted metabolomics using liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry and a community-based data analysis method, known as Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking (GNPS), were used to inventory molecules in human biospecimens from around the world. Analysis of fecal samples from ~2100 subjects from the American Gut Project yield several insights: (1) Pseudomonas-associated metabolites were observed in ~5% of fecal samples from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, but were observed in nearly 15% of samples from subjects admitted to intensive care units (n=150). (2) Drugs, known to affect the gut microbiome, were frequently detected in the fecal samples (~40% of all samples from the United States). (3) Changes in the gut microbiome correlated with altered drug metabolism in a longitudinal pharmacokinetic study in healthy adults (n=14). The results discussed will highlight the progress in untargeted metabolomics and data analysis methods toward characterizing microbiome-associated molecules and their impact on human health.