News & Events

Jon Clardy, Ph.D.

Posted on March 29, 2019


Date - March 29, 2019
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Hsien Wu and Daisy Yen Wu Professor of Biological Chemistry
Molecular Pharmacology, Program Co-director
Chemical Biology PhD Program
Harvard University Medical School
Talk Title: Molecular Messages in the Human Gut Microbiome


Numerous studies with varying degrees of statistical power have found correlations between the composition of the bacterial population in the human gut microbiome and disease states. But the molecules and mechanism(s) connecting a dysbiotic microbiome to a specific disease are generally unknown. In an attempt to address this gap, we undertook a series of screens to link bacterial metabolites with diseases like type 1 diabetes (T1D) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We focused on primary drivers of inflammation like TNFα (tumor necrosis factor alpha) produced by human dendritic cells. The talk, which will use much less jargon than this abstract, will describe our logic for the screen, the selection of candidate bacterial strains, the discovery of the small molecule regulators of cytokine production, and their structures and biosynthesis.