A/Prof. Ashutosh Mangalam PhD

Dr. Mangalam’s/My research is focused on investigating role of gut microbiota in the health and diseases and uses a bedside to bench to bedside approach to identify novel human gut derived commensal or metabolites which can be used as therapeutic agents. Our fecal microbiota profiling study showed that MS patients had depletion of certain bacteria whereas enrichment of others (Sci Rep 2016). We observed alteration in gut bacteria involved in metabolism of phytoestrogens, fibres/carbohydrates, bile acids and tryptophans. To test our bedside to bench approach, we isolated Prevotella histicola belonging to genus Prevotella (bacteria depleted in MS patientsand tested its ability to modulate disease in a preclinical model (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis-EAE) of MS. We showed that P. histicola can suppress EAE in HLA-class II transgenic mice (Cell Reports 2017). Therefore, multiple projects in the laboratory are investigating the mechanism through which gut bacteria regulate host physiology and how perturbation of healthy gut microbiota might leads to disease development and/or increased disease severity.