Profile of the Research Group

The human intestinal tract is populated by more than 100 trillion microorganisms. This microbial community (intestinal microbiota) affects important host functions including gastrointestinal metabolism, epithelial cell growth, and colonization resistance against pathogens. However, intestinal bacteria have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases, colorectal cancer and other non-communicable disorders. We aim to elucidate the effect of diet on the development, composition, and metabolic activity of the intestinal microbiota to define the role of intestinal bacteria in the development and prevention of diseases. In this context, we study the microbial metabolism of dietary polyphenols, sulfonates and fiber by intestinal bacteria and investigate how intestinal bacteria contribute in particular to inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer.