$2.9M Phase 2 Genome Canada Grant to enhance prediction of drug efficacy
An exciting project co-led by Dr. Daniel Figeys and Dr. Alain Stintzi of the uOttawa Faculty of Medicine has been awarded a Genome Canada Disruptive Innovations in Genomics (DIG) Phase 2 Grant to define how current drugs affect the gut’s microbial community and to identify new drugs that can target the microbiome.
This $2.9 million in new funding, one of only seven Phase 2 proposals funded across the country by Genome Canada, allows a continuation of work from the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology (BMI) team’s Phase 1 grant.
The microbiome, or the bacteria that colonize the gastrointestinal tract, is an active community in the body. It plays a vital role in food processing and nutrient uptake, is involved in digestion-related and other diseases, and affects how the body reacts to drugs. Drugs, in turn, can affect the microbiome, an important consideration in the development of new therapeutics for diseases.
There is currently no technology to assess interactions between drugs and the microbiome, but this Phase 2, three-year project will explore this little-studied area. The team aims to develop a series of microbiome assays (analyses) to examine a person’s microbiome, and in particular how drugs affect it. The result will be a better prediction of the effects of drugs on the microbiome, as well as new drugs that target the microbiome, offering novel therapies for diseases.
Congratulations to the team!