By designating Personal Microbiome Health a Research Priority Area, the UvA aims to create a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research initiative in the complex field of microbiome science. This network will bring together existing expertise on the oral and gut microbiome with broader expertise in public health, social and behavioural sciences, and complexity and data science.
The human microbiome consists of about 100 trillion microbes, which live in our oral cavity, in our gut, on our skin and in other locations in or on our body. Our microbiome is highly personalised, shaped from birth and influenced by a combination of genetic, immunological, cultural, socio-economic, behavioural and environmental factors.
Given all these factors, maintaining microbiome health is both complex and personal. If there is a microbial imbalance in the gut or oral cavity, it has an impact on the entire body and can have severe consequences for overall health.
Understanding the complex interactions between the human host, the microbiome and the environment is therefore key to maintaining health and preventing disease.
This Research Priority Area aims to integrate and expand the UvA’s broad expertise – in fields ranging from oral and gut microbiome science to public health, social and behavioural sciences and data science – and apply it to health and disease prevention. In doing so, the UvA hopes to become a key player, nationally and internationally, in microbiome science, and to contribute new knowledge to the emerging field of personalised medicine.
Dr Rob Exterkate