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The role of maternal microbiota in offspring lung development and function

The role of maternal microbiota in offspring lung development and function


In early life, interactions between our microbiota and our bodies are key elements to health and disease prevention. While it is known that microbiota drives development of the gut mucosa, it is unknown which influence microbiota has on the development of the lung in early life. I have recently discovered large biologically and statistically significant effects between maternal probiotic treatment during pregnancy, maternal gut microbiota changes and alveolar development in mouse offspring. This type of effect has never been shown before and modulation of microbiota with probiotic bacteria thus appears to support lung development and could possibly intercept lung diseases. With “ProLung”, I want to reveal the mechanisms behind this effect on lung development. I will do that by determining; the timing of the effect, which microbiota is more important and what genes are differently regulated in dams and their pups. I will show causation by transferring microbiota and phenotype to germ-free mice. Finally, as a “proof of concept”, I will develop and employ an oxygen driven disease model of infant lung dysplasia and show if modulation of microbiota can enhance breathing and could be used to intercept this early life lung disease.

The proposed “ProLung” action will be conducted under world-class supervision at University of Copenhagen, Denmark with strong partners, in a highly cross disciplinary international collaboration with University of Oxford (UK), University of Michigan (US) and co-funded by the world second largest chemical company Dupont. I have a unique background and track record suited to perform the proposed research. Furthermore the action will allow me to pursue several training objectives that will be instrumental for my future career in the cross-section between academia and industry.
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Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn


Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 212 194,80

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 798640


Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2019

  • End date

    31 December 2020

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 212 194,80

  • EU contribution

    € 212 194,80

Coordinated by: