The lower part of the human digestive tract is inhabited by communities of microorganisms. They play crucial role in regulation of various functions of the host organism. Specifically, the produce a variety of beneficial substances, including some vitamins, fatty acids, serotonin and are responsible also for proper functioning of the immune system of the host. According to the current knowledge, certain changes in the intestinal microflora may be associated with the development of chronic diseases. In spite of the scientific progress on this topic, the correlations between the qualitative and quantitative composition of human intestinal microflora and the development of chronic diseases are still not very well understood. The scientific research activity of Institute is therefore focused on detailed study of human intestinal microflora and possibilities of its modulation in prevention and therapy of chronic diseases. Research activities of the Institute are aimed to answer two key questions:
What is the role of intestinal microbiome in the pathogenesis of chronic diseases?
What are the possibilities for the prevention of chronic diseases using targeted modulation of intestinal microbiome?
The research team consists of eleven professional researchers. The staff includes experts in microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and immunology, thus having a multidisciplinary character. In addition to the use of advanced in vitro analyses, the Institute has also solid experience with in vivo animal studies. Undoubted advantage of the Institute is connection to the clinical departments of the Faculty and the University Louis Pasteur University Hospital in Košice, and also cooperation with the industrial partners. The staff of the Institute has presently two filed patent applications.
The Institute regularly organizes international scientific events which make contact with the scientific professionals from all over the world. In 2008 – 2015, the Institute organized International Scientific Conference on Probiotics and Prebiotics, in the years 2009 and 2010 international conference Food and Function and in the 2010 International Scientific Conference on Gastro-Intestinal Microbial Ecology.