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.
printView this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 10 December 2020

    Aletta Jacobs Chairs: 15 female professors appointed

    On International Women’s Day this spring, Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga announced that the UG would be creating 15 new chair positions for female professors, known as the Aletta Jacobs Chairs. Fifteen female professors will soon start their work...

  • 03 December 2020

    UG to award honorary doctorate to Feike Sijbesma

    On Friday 22 January 2021, the University of Groningen (UG) will award an honorary doctorate to Feike Sijbesma. The former CEO of DSM will be presented with his honorary doctorate by Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga during the special Nobel...

  • 01 December 2020

    Integration of newcomers is almost at a standstill

    The lockdown in March 2020 was difficult for everyone in the Netherlands, but especially so for newcomers: they had 50% less contact than previously. As a consequence, they felt lonelier and their integration into society has almost come to a...