Modulation of the gut microbes to promote health throughout life

Lead Research Organisation: Institute of Food Research
Department Name: Contracts

Abstract

This theme focuses on the translational aspect of the Gut Microbes and Health programme, which will pursue ongoing applied work within the programme but will also identify additional targets based on the output of basic research outlined in themes 1 and 2, to strengthen and further develop strategies to promote health throughout life. Specifically, these will focus on developing bifidobacterial-based probiotics for infant supplements as well as lactic acid bacteria for animal feed to reduce the pathogen load in the food chain to reduce the incidents of food poisoning in humans.

Gut commensal organisms capable of efficient expression of specific enzyme and antimicrobial peptides to inhibit pathogens such as C. difficile, which affects the elderly, will be developed and tested. We also propose to identify carbohydrate-based mucosal barrier protectors as well as gut commensals and their products as therapeutics and for development of vaccines to promote gut health. We will explore strategies for modulation of the structure and function of the gut microbiome, including the application of faecal microbiota transplant, phage therapy and exploitation of the gut commensal eukaryotes (yeast and fungi) for restoration of gut microbiota homeostasis. We will utilise in-house facilities of tissue and organ cultures, in vitro colon models, animal models (including germ free mice) as well as human intervention studies to conduct proof-of-concept studies and demonstrate efficacy of the strategies developed.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Guardians of the Gut Exhibit 
Description "Guardians of the Gut": 6-meter-long, 2-meter-high gut, with internal game stations which allowed visitors to interact with their 'microbes 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This exhbit has been shown at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition and Norwich Science Festivals 2018 
 
Description 1. Our successful pilot study on Faecal microbiota transplant for treatment of recurrent C. difficile infections showed the benefits of such treatment and we are now in consultation with local hospital to make this a routine treatment offered by local NHS trust. More CDI patients will then benefit.
Exploitation Route We are exploring the use of FMT for treatment of other microbiome associated disorders.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Creative Economy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description Membership of R&D Executive Committee influencing educational and research policy updated annually
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description CLRN Flexibility & Sustainability Research Funding
Amount £55,975 (GBP)
Funding ID RDFSF025 
Organisation London North West Healthcare NHS Trust 
Sector Hospitals
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2018 
End 07/2019
 
Description CLRN Flexibility and Sustainability Research Funding
Amount £53,698 (GBP)
Funding ID RDFSF024 
Organisation London North West Healthcare NHS Trust 
Sector Hospitals
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 07/2018
 
Description Development of a Bacteriophage Based Solution for the Treatment of Implant Related Infections
Amount £84,208 (GBP)
Funding ID 42897000M 
Organisation Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital 
Sector Hospitals
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 01/2019
 
Description Evaluation of HMOs on gut barrier function
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Organisation Glycom A/S 
Start 01/2017 
End 07/2019
 
Description Fermented seaweed based novel feed additives - SEAFEED
Amount € 490,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) 
Sector Public
Country Hungary
Start 01/2019 
End 01/2020
 
Description Immune cell circuits and tissue compartmentalisation in control of intestinal inflammation and tumerigenesis
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Haematology R&D a/c RD027/L 
Organisation London North West Healthcare NHS Trust 
Sector Hospitals
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 12/2019
 
Description New antimicrobials to target gut pathogens
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 42907000B 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2023
 
Description Norwich Research Park Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 10/2022
 
Description Norwich Research Park Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2019
 
Description St Marks Foundation Research Grants
Amount £216,138 (GBP)
Organisation St Marks Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 10/2020
 
Description Training interdisciplinary glycoscientists to get a molecular- level grip on glycocodes at the human mucosa-microbiota
Amount £466,300 (GBP)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2019 
End 12/2022
 
Title Membrane-enclosed multienzyme (MEME) synthesis of 2,7-anhydro-sialic acid derivatives. 
Description A facile one-pot two-enzyme approach has been established for the synthesis of 2,7-anhydro-sialic acid derivatives including those containing different sialic acid forms such as Neu5Ac and N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). This synthetic method, which is based on a membrane-enclosed enzymatic synthesis, can be performed on a preparative scale. Using fetuin as a substrate, high-yield and cost-effective production of 2,7-anhydro-Neu5Ac was obtained to high-purity. This method was also applied to the synthesis of 2,7-anhydro-Neu5Gc. The membrane-enclosed multienzyme (MEME) strategy reported here provides an efficient approach to produce a variety of sialic acid derivatives. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The method allowed to produce 2,7-anhydro-sialic acid derivatives (not commercially available) in amount and purity allowing further mechanistic studies and exploring applications in the health sector 
 
Description 'Women of the Future' event for school children 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The 'Women of The Future' conference was aimed at year 10 girls to showcase the opportunites for following a career in science. Around 250 yr 10 girls from Norfolk attended talks, demonstraitons and a 'speed dating' event 'Meet a STEMM professional', where the students talked to presenting scientists and STEMM professionals about their career paths and work. Several students demonstrated an interest in following science at University level.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 4th Annual European Microbiome Congress 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Attendance to 4th Annual European Microbiome Congress. This Conference has a high representation from the Industry: Pharmaceutical companies and Biotechnology companies and provided an excellent opportunity to make contact and discuss work relevant to the Institute Strategic Programmes. The PROMOTING WOMEN IN SCIENCE lunch session was inspiring.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Academia-Industry Networking CarboMet event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I co-organised and chaired a two day workshop on 'The Role of Carbohydrates in the Gut Microbiome' June 2018 in Brussels attended by 40 delegates from academia and industry as apart of CarboMet. CarboMet (Metrology of Carbohydrates for European Bioindustries) is a four-year Coordination and Support Action (CSA) funded by Horizon 2020 FET-OPEN. It is an European Network that facilitates engagement between key players and stakeholders of the glycoscience community across Europe to identify the current state of the art and in particular future innovation and technological challenges in carbohydrate metrology. I co-wrote and edited the CarboMet positioning paper on 'The Essential Roles of Carbohydrates in Promoting Gut Microbiota Function Through All Stages of Life' which summarises discussions that took place during the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://carbomet.eu/news/positioning-paper-on-role-of-carbohydrates-in-gut-microbiota-function/
 
Description Annual Aberdeen University Microbiology Schools Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk to approx 150 17-18 year old school children about important of the gut microbiome and also gave a career talk. Feedback received was very positive with students thinking about microbiology as a degree.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Article for the 'Microbiologist' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Article written for SfAM magazine 'Microbiologist': First Contact: The importance of the early life microbiota
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description BIA Webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Arjan Narbad, Lindsay Hall and Alan Walker gave a live BIA webinar to industry members. the webinar was then published on You tube that everyone can access. The title of the Webinar was Developing, feeding and restoring the human microbiome' where Dr Lindsay Hall explained 'Early Life Microbiota' , Dr Alana Walker presented 'Diet and the gut microbiota' and Professor Arjan Narbad gave a presentation on 'Restoring the gut microbiome
using FMT' more than 370 people have now seen the webinar.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtcoxvQvG34
 
Description BIA Webinar: Developing, feeding and restoring the human microbiome 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact BIA Webinar: Developing, feeding and restoring the human microbiome. In an interactive webinar with questions from industrial representatives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Guardians of the Gut (Norwich Science Festival) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Guardians of the Gut stand was part of the annual Norwich Science Festival 2018 and is estimated of being visited by over 100 visitors. The main outcome was to be able to engage with the general public and make them aware of the work performed at Quadram Institute Bioscience, and how it could be translated to improving human health
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://norwichsciencefestival.co.uk/events/health-day/
 
Description IBCarb 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Contributed to the final IBCarb workshop Glycobiotechnology 2018. IBCarb (Glycoscience Tools for Biotechnology and Bioenergy) is a growing network of glycoscientists from academia and industry. IBCarb was one of the Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy funded by the BBSRC. The workshop was very successful and attracted around 150 attendees (international audience from academia and industry) . This was an opportunity to showcase the Glycosciences carried out in the UK and in partnership with industrial/business partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://ibcarb.com/events/
 
Description Interviewed and quoted in BBC Future article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Was interviewed and quoted in BBC Future article: What we and don't know about gut health
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190121-what-we-do-and-dont-know-about-gut-health
 
Description Invited seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation of an invited seminar 'Exploiting bacteriophage endolysins to target Clostridia' at the University of East Anglia Molecular Microbiology lecture series to UEA scientists and students, to highlight some of our work on the development of novel antimicrobials to target gut pathogens.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Microbiology Society 2018 selected talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Dr Zoe Schofield was selected to give an oral short talk talk at the annual Microbiology Society Meeting (Birmingham 2018): Bifidobacterium breve stimulates immune development in germ-free mice
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description NIHR HPRU PhD Academy (University of Liverpool, London Campus) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Saskia Neuert (PhD student) attended a 'PhD academy' organised by the award funders. The main purpose of this event was for postgraduate researchers currently doing a PhD to meet, discuss their projects, present their progress, and enter discussions about the future of their projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description NIHR HPRU annual conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Arjan Narbad (organiser and theme leader), Lee Kellingray (Research scientist) and Saskia Neuert (PhD student) attended the award bodies annual conference. Lee and Saskia gave oral presentations, with Lee winning the People's Choice Award for Best Oral presentation. These annual meetings allow researchers across multiple themes within the central NIHR HPRU award to present progress, discuss results and future plans, and identify other researchers that may be able to help with projects within the timeframe of the award. At the end of the annual meeting, there is an additional session where students and researchers have a round table discussion with the External Advisory Panel to discuss how the NIHR HRPU can be improved, and this was very productive.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://hprugi.nihr.ac.uk/about-us/news/hpru-gi-annual-conference-2017/
 
Description NIHR HPRU annual conference 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This is a yearly conference organised by the representatives of the funding body and the theme leaders. Arjan Narbad (theme leader), Lee Kellingray (Research scientist), and Saskia Neuert (PhD student) attended, with all three giving oral presentations. This allows researchers to share progress, plans, ideas for the future, and to offer help and guidance to one another. This was followed by a discussion with the External Advisory Panel and all researchers to get ideas about how the central project (all themes) can be improved in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://hprugi.nihr.ac.uk/about-us/news/hpru-gi-annual-conference-2018/
 
Description Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Open day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Two members of the award (Lee Kellingray (Research scientist) and Saskia Neuert (PhD student)) produced posters and activities as part of an Open Day located at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. It was estimated that approximately 200 people visited this event from the Norfolk region, consisting of the general public, medical practitioners, and patients. This event was reported in the NHS newsletter and the local newspaper. This gave an opportunity for us to showcase the research we are performing as part of this award to explain to the attendees how we are working with the NHS to try and improve hospital services through improvements to diagnostic capability and the use of FMT to improve patient health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nnuh.nhs.uk/events/charity-events/2017/03/open-day-and-fete-2017/
 
Description Podcast for Economist 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Podcast with the 'Economist' about the gut microbiome and celiac disease
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Policy publication by Microbiology Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Contributed to the publication of the Policy document by The Microbiology society. The aim was to To help the microbiology community to consider how it might best take advantage of the opportunities stemming from microbiome research. but at the same time the document woul dbe useful to the wider audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://microbiologysociety.org/policy/microbiome-policy-project/unlocking-the-microbiome-report.htm...
 
Description Radio Interview for BBC Radio Norfolk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Radio interview about our Guardians of the Gut exhibit and the microbiome - in response to the interview we had additional people visit the exhibit during the science festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description TV interview - BBC Look East 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TV interview on BBC Look East about our Guardians of the Gut exhibition - people specifically attended the exhibit after they had watch the interview.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description University of 3rd age (Norwich) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was one of a series of lectures on the work being performed at the institute, which were given to approxiamately30 members of an international organisation called the University of the Third Age. This group consists of retired members of the public who still wish to be educated and stimulated. The team member discussed her work which is directly funded by this award, and participated in an open discussion following the presentation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016