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Gut bacteria and antibiotics: Michael Fischbach looks for answers

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Published on Jan 20, 2011

The bacteria in the human gut that produce antibiotics are the focus of a US$1 million W. M. Keck Foundation grant being led by Michael Fischbach, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences.

He explains here the goal of the project: to identify antibiotics produced by gut bacteria and determine how these antibiotics affect the composition of the entire gut bacterial community.

Research results could help reveal the causes of and new treatments for:
· Crohn's disease
· obesity
· diabetes
· colorectal cancer.

Fischbach's collaborators are from Stanford University and the University of California, San Diego. The two-year Medical Research Program grant began January 2011 and is titled, " Beyond the Human Microbiome: The human gut as an antibiotic discovery engine."

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