Investigating the bidirectional relationship between the gut microbiome and immunosuppressants: A step towards personalizing the immunosuppressive therapy of renal transplant recipients

Project start
Institution: University Children’s Hospital Heidelberg & European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Heidelberg
Applicant: Maral Baghai Arassi
EKFS funding line: First and Second Applications
Image Baghai

Organ transplantation is made possible by the introduction of drugs, that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants). They represent the cornerstone of modern transplant medicine. However, it is difficult to determine the right medication and immunosuppressive dose in advance of the transplantation, as every patient reacts differently to the treatment. As a result, frequent complications occur, which threaten transplant outcome and the patient’s health. Recently, intestinal bacteria (the microbiome) have been suspected to impact the efficacy and toxicity of immunosuppressive drugs. The aim of this research project is to discover microbiome- based indicators (biomarkers) that help estimating the right drug and drug dose to minimize serious treatment-related side effects after transplantation.

Further information can be found on and here.