Patterns of Healthy Aging in the Gut Microbiome 

Objectives:

  • Characterize ‘healthy/unhealthy aging’ trajectories from the perspective of the gut microbiome across the adult human lifespan.
  • Investigate changes in gut microbiome composition predictive of mortality and longevity in elderly populations.
  • Study the reflection of the identified gut microbiome aging patterns in host physiology, primarily through blood analytes.

Summarizing paragraph:

Despite considerable progress in understanding the human gut microbiome, very little is known about how gut microbial changes across age correspond to host physiology and health. This project leverages several cohorts comprising thousands of individuals spanning 18-98 years of age to investigate gut microbial changes with respect to aging and longevity. We integrate cross-sectional and longitudinal multi-omics data, along with extensive health questionnaires and mortality data, to identify how changes in the gut microbiome observed with aging correspond to host physiology, health and life expectancy. Our preliminary findings indicate there are two distinct aging patterns reflected in gut microbiome composition, that are highly dependent on the overall health state of the individual. We hope to better understand how these identified aging patterns within the gut microbiome contribute, or are just a reflection of, healthy aging.

Key Project Personnel:

Tomasz WilmanskiNathan Price