(207c) Spatiotemporal Dynamics of the Human Gut Microbiome

Dhurjati, P. S., Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware
The human gut is host to a diverse and complex ecosystem of over a thousand microorganisms that are collectively known as the “gut microbiome”. The gut microbiome has already been correlated with over a hundred diseases and has created a revolution in medical science. These microbes play a major role in providing nutrition for our body and maintaining a strong immune system. Modeling of the spatiotemporal dynamics of the microbes is useful to investigate how the gut microbiome may influence “disease progression”. The models could also help in designing strategies to dynamically manipulate the system trajectory away from a “disease” state to a “healthy” state. The importance of microbial dynamics will be illustrated in the context of our research on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). System level modeling approaches using connectivity maps, rules, and mathematical equations have provided insights into the dynamic changes in the gut microbiome in ASD. Such system-level approaches can potentially be used for personalized and predictive diagnoses and for preventive nutritional recommendations