Six projects garner Microbiome Venture Fund awards

Six faculty-led teams have received 2018 Microbiome Venture Fund awards to pursue projects related to the microbiome.

Supported by the Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative and the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation, the Microbiome Venture Fund was launched in 2017 to kick-start new research and education projects in the broad category of microbiomes—the totality of microbes in or on an environment.

Vanderbilt is rapidly growing microbiome scholarship, grants, resources and educational programs on and off campus, and the Venture Fund awards are designed to help facilitate new research projects.

The six multidisciplinary teams that received awards consist of faculty, graduate students and undergraduates in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Pediatric Care and Medicine, among other disciplines. Each team will present its work at monthly meetings with members of the Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative community.

The six projects that won awards in 2018 are:

  • “Gastrointestinal Microbiota Diversity and Clinical Outcomes in Infants with Congenital Heart Disease” – Stephanie Waterhouse, clinical fellow in pediatrics
  • “Leveraging Human Milk Oligosaccharides to Repair Dysbiotic Minimal Microbiomes” – Steven Townsend, assistant professor of chemistry; and Jennifer Gaddy, assistant professor of medicine and assistant professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology
  • “Timekeeping Dimensions in the Relationship between Bacteria and Hosts” – Carl Johnson, Stevenson Chair and professor of biological sciences and professor of molecular physiology and biophysics
  • “Defining the Gastric Microbiome in Autoimmune Gastritis: An International Collaboration” – Shailja Shah, instructor in medicine
  • “Microbiome-Epithelial Cell Crosstalk During Tuft Cell Hyperplasia” – Ken Lau, assistant professor of cell and developmental biology
  • “Stress, Learning and the Microbiome: Disentangling the Feedback Loop” – Nicole Creanza, assistant professor of biological sciences