Volker Mai

Dr. Mai’s lab is interested in determining causal associations between microbiota composition and various health outcomes. While his lab is using animal models for proof of principle studies, and human feeding studies to determine effects of dietary interventions on microbiota composition, they are most interested in performing prospective cohort studies in human populations. They have recently linked specific gut bacteria to the risk for having colorectal adenomas. Using advanced bioinformatics tools that they developed in house we determined that polyp prevalence is associated with a specific microbiota pattern. They are studying gut microbiota development in infants, especially in those born prematurely. Dr. Mai’s lab is leading the efforts to determine how distortions in microbiota development in preterm infants contribute to disease risks. They are also interested in determined how various foods affect microbiota composition and immune responses. As a novel approach for shaping microbiota composition, and an alternative to antibiotics, they are developing bacteriophage based approaches to modify microbiota composition. They are developing new bioinformatics tools required for efficient data mining in large microbiota datasets.