Researchers from the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) in Hannover, Munich and Tübingen have now signed a cooperation agreement for the new Center for Gastrointestinal Microbiome Research (CEGIMIR). This new research platform enables more intensive investigations of the gastrointestinal tract’s microbial diversity and its role in infections. Analytical methods and technologies at all three locations shall be used jointly.
Our gastrointestinal tract is teeming with bacteria. The microbiome, as the entirety of all these microorganisms is called, encompasses over 1000 species. Just one millilitre of small bowel fluid can contain up to one billion of these microorganisms. The microbiome is of utmost importance to DZIF scientists who study gastrointestinal infections. They want to find out what role it plays in inflammatory diseases, how it affects the immune system and how drugs and therapies compromise the gut flora. The CEGIMIR networking may ultimately also lead to new biomarkers that make individual therapies of gastrointestinal infections possible.
Resources available for joint use include high-performance technologies for sequencing and analysis of bacterial genomes and host-pathogen interactions, as well as mouse models that carry precisely defined bacterial strains. Partners of the founded CEGIMIR (Center for Gastrointestinal Microbiome Research) are the respective departments or institutes of the Hannover Medical School (MHH), the Max von Pettenkofer-Institute of the LMU Munich, the TU Munich and the University Hospital of Tübingen. Members of the steering committee are currently Professor Bärbel Stecher from the LMU Munich (spokesperson), Professor Sebastian Suerbaum from the MHH and Professor Julia-Stefanie Frick from the University Hospital of Tübingen.