The gut-brain axis along aging

The gut microbiota plays an important role in the physiology of the central nervous system and inflammation. Brain-gut communication enables bidirectional modulatory effects between the microbiota and the central nervous system, which might be involved in physiological and pathological events. Changes in the intestinal microbiota during aging show a decrease in the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio, presenting a higher proportion of Bacteroides, Clostridium, and Proteobacteria, and a decrease in Actinobacteria compared to young adults.

We are cultivating and analyzing thousands of bacterias from the Chilean population, in order to find new strains with positive effect over inflammation and aging.

Restoring the gut microbiome for healthy aging

Our research focuses on the search for bacterial consortia with effect over the aging process. Our aim is to restore the intestinal microbiota during aging, converting it into a healthier and more beneficial intestinal microbiota. For the generation of bacterial consortia, we have generated a bank of bacteria isolated from the intestinal microbiota of healthy Chileans with a wide diversity of bacteria strains. Hundreds of these isolated and taxonomically classified bacteria has been evaluated for their probiotic properties and we are currently generating consortia for in vitro and in vivo studies. In addition, we are studying the gut microbiota in aged people, trying to correlate changes in their composition associated to the risk to develop brain conditions.

People involved

Francisco Moya-Flores

Postdoctoral fellow

Biotechnology Engineer, M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research focuses on understanding variations in the human gut microbiome and how they modulate aging-associated diseases using computational biology and bioinformatics. Current approaches involve a suite of machine-learning algorithms and data science.

Paulina Calderón

Scientist

Biochemist, Ph.D. in Molecular Biosciences from Universidad Andrés Bello. Studying the bacteria of the human intestinal microbiota for the elaboration of bacterial consortia with therapeutic effects on people’s health.

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