The human gut microbiome is a complex, diverse and dynamic ecosystem important to health. Primarily, we study it using multi-omics techniques, especially metagenomics. From it, we obtain DNA reads which give us information about the identity and relative proportions of all forms of life inhabiting our gastrointestinal tracts. The dominating view of the microbiome is based on taxonomy (identity) of bacteria and archaea. Similarly, the vast majority of studies to-date focused on a cross-sectional aspect of the microbiome, for example, what differentiates healthy population from the sick in different diseases related to the microbiome. The microbiome health relationships are far-reaching and important – from disorders closely related to the gastrointestinal tract, such as inflammatory bowel disease, to more complex relationships in cancer, mental health, type-1 diabetes, and more.

Our work involves method development to predict the function and dynamics of the human microbiome. We use protein structures, functions, and interactions of microbes and microbial proteins to build a structural and functional genomics view of microbiome composition and dynamics. We analyse microbial data to understand how the changes in the microbiome impact human health. Thus, we want to move beyond the population-level studies to personalized solutions.

Long-term, we want to develop a multi-scale understanding of the microbiome, from genes, through structures, to functions, and therapies.