ProjectSOAR – Systematic Triangulation of Pathobiont-Host-Interactions SOAR

Basic data

Systematic Triangulation of Pathobiont-Host-Interactions SOAR
01/01/2024 to 31/12/2028
Abstract / short description:
Rising incidences of chronic disorders and cancer have been linked to reduced microbial diversity and genetic alterations. The effect of the microbiome is particularly evident in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the identification of specific bacteria that trigger/drive disease or modulate therapy efficacy in IBD and CRC lacks a comprehensive approach. Even less is known about how these bacteria mechanistically induce such effects. The paucity of so far identified disease relevant bacteria and their mode of action, likely lies in the complexity of both the microbiome. We hypothesize that specific bacteria, which do not harm the host under steady state conditions, hijack host pathways in the presence of (environmental) risk factors to drive inflammation, onset and progression of IBD and CRC. We speculate that these bacteria, termed pathobionts, have so far been overlooked due to a lack of methods to triangulate these disease relevant bacteria in multi-factorial disorders like IBD and CRC.
It is our objective to identify these pathobionts. To do so, we have developed an antibody coating based approach, to identify and culture pathobionts. Through machine learning, we then aim to find pathobiont- risk factor matches that drive disease and validate these matches in vivo. Through leveraging the gained knowledge, we aim to probe publicly available databases for the presence of the pathobionts. This will unmask individuals at risk for the development of IBD, CRC and potentially other disorders. This may pave the way for future microbiome-based precision medicine approaches.

Involved staff


Faculty of Medicine
University of Tübingen

Local organizational units

Internal Medicine Department I
Department of Internal Medicine
Hospitals and clinical institutes, Faculty of Medicine



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