A new center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis aims to tackle the challenges of feeding the world’s rapidly expanding population and improving global health by linking efforts to develop more nutritious foods with discoveries gleaned from the gut microbiome.
The Center for Gut Microbiome and Nutrition Research will be led by Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, whose pioneering studies have illuminated the intimate relationship between diet, the mix of microbes that live in the intestine and overall nutritional health.
His laboratory’s research has focused on two major global health problems: obesity in Western societies and childhood malnutrition in developing countries. The groundbreaking work has demonstrated that the state of the gut’s microbial community is closely tied to both conditions.
“We’re witnessing dramatic alterations in how and what we eat, with a move toward more processed foods that have longer shelf lives, and a rise in snacking compared with declines in family dining,” said Gordon, the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor, who also directs the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology at the School of Medicine.
The featured article was originally published in Washington University’s Newsroom: New center aims to use gut microbiome discoveries to improve human nutrition