Metabolic diseases are a significant healthcare burden in developed countries and a strategically important research area in the region among strong industry players such as Novo Nordisk. Alterations in the gut microbiota composition, diversity and metabolites derived from the gut microbiota have been associated with several diseases, including metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Accumulating evidence suggests that the microbiota interacts with the immune system, hormone system, gut-brain axis and host metabolism, as well as other functions of the host. Yet, the main challenge remains to understand the microbiome’s involvement in human health mechanistically and to translate insights into novel microbiome-based therapies for metabolic diseases.

The region’s effort in doing so is spearheaded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen and several excellent research environments at the universities in close collaboration with the region’s hospitals.

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Examples of publications led by researchers affiliated to the region

Rasmussen et al. (2020) Faecal virome transplantation decreases symptoms of type 2 diabetes and obesity in a murine model. Gut

Bryrup et al. (2019) Metformin-induced changes of the gut microbiota in healthy young men: results of a non-blinded, one-armed intervention study. Diabetologia

Winther et al. (2019) Utility of Plasma Concentration of Trimethylamine N-Oxide in Predicting Cardiovascular and Renal Complications in Individuals With Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes care
Palleja, Mikkelsen, Forslund et al. (2018) Recovery of Gut Microbiota of Healthy Adults Following Antibiotic Exposure. Nature Microbiology

Ottosson et al. (2018). Connection Between BMI-Related Plasma Metabolite Profile and Gut Microbiota. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

Examples of projects within the segment

MetaCardis - Metagenomics in Cardiometabolic Diseases

MicrobLiver - The role of the gut-liver axis in early stages of alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

EXODIAB - Development of novel strategies for the prevention and successful treatment of diabetes

IMI-DIRECT - Personalised medicines approach for the treatment of type 2 diabetes