Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Latest news News

€2 million ERC Grant for research on modulating the gut microbiome to improve drug efficacy

09 December 2020

Dr. Jingyuan Fu of the UMCG Genetics/Paediatrics departments has received an ERC Consolidator Grant of € 2 million from the EU. She will use this to investigate whether the effectiveness of medicines can be improved by making adjustments to the whole of micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal system (intestinal microbiome). Her research focuses mainly on commonly used medication that patients receive with cardiovascular diseases or with psychiatric disorders. Her research will take 5 years.

Dr. Fu, Photo: Elmer Spaargaren
Dr. Fu, Photo: Elmer Spaargaren

A large number of patients do not respond well to commonly used drugs; some patients suffer from side effects. In Europe, about 3.5% of hospital admissions are related to side effects of medicines. It means that many patients are not treated properly because they do not respond or respond poorly to medicines. This not only has consequences for the patient’s well-being, but also entails enormous clinical and financial burdens.

With this ERC Consolidator Grant, Dr. Jingyuan Fu solve this problem by changing the bacteria that live in the intestines of humans. In this BugDrug project she will focus on 23 drugs, which are widely used in the treatment of cardiometabolic and psychiatric disorders. She made this choice because these are common chronic diseases that require patients to take medication on a daily basis. Examples of these medications are statins, beta blockers or ACE inhibitors.

The BugDrug project is based on a very new concept that the gut bacteria can contribute to a better individual response to medicines. Altering the gut microbiome may open up the possibility of making existing drugs work again. In her research, Jingyuan Fu uses the large LifeLines cohort study, innovative organ-on-a-chip technology and clinical interventions. It is precisely through this combination that she hopes to achieve a better prediction of the response to medicines and a greater effectiveness of the medication. This research is believed to pave the way for designing the next phase of personalized medicine, by taking into account an individual’s genetics and gut microbiome.

The ERC Consolidator Grant is intended for researchers who completed their thesis 7-12 years ago. They must have since built up a promising scientific status and submitted an excellent research proposal.

Last modified:09 December 2020 4.45 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 11 December 2023

    Join the 'Language and AI' community

    As a part of the Jantina Tammes School, the 'Language and AI' theme is an interdisciplinary initiative that aims to encourage collaboration among academics, PhD candidates, students, and industry representatives who share a keen interest in the...

  • 13 October 2023

    Moniek Tromp appointed Captain of Science of the Top Sector Chemistry

    Prof. Moniek Tromp has been appointed Captain of Science of the Chemistry Top Sector by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. As from 1 July 2023, she succeeded Prof. Bert Weckhuysen from Utrecht University.

  • 12 September 2023

    Art in times of AI

    Leonardo Arriagada Beltran conducted his PhD research on the interface of computer-generated art and the constantly evolving field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He will defend his Phd thesis on 21 September. His research offers valuable insights...