Scientist honored for role in founding, leading field of gut microbiome research
Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, a world-renowned scientist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur International Award. The award recognizes scientists who have made outstanding contributions to biomedical research in fields that profoundly affect global public health.
Gordon was recognized for his role in founding and leading the field of gut microbiome research. Together with talented students and colleagues, Gordon’s work has led to a fundamental shift in the way scientists understand the relationship between microbes, human health, and disease.
Gordon and his colleagues have shown that the gut microbiata of children living in low-income countries and suffering from malnutrition exhibit arrested development that is not currently treatable. Their studies have identified key microbes that affect growth and are underrepresented in the immature microbiota of malnourished children. These microbes have become therapeutic targets.
Gordon’s group has gone on to develop microbiota-directed therapeutic foods designed to improve the representation and expressed beneficial functions of these targeted microbes and thus repair microbiota immaturity. He and his colleagues at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh are now conducting clinical trials to test their new therapies.