Microbiota Research and Therapeutics

Advancing the therapeutic use of intestinal microbiota

COVID-19 and the Intestinal Microbiome

Studying how the intestinal microbial composition correlates with outcomes of the COVID-19 infection in hospitalized patients.

Participate in a Study

We are current recruiting patients at the U of M for studies on ulcerative colitis, leukemia, and an upcoming COVID-19 study.

In the Media

From the mysteries of the microbiome to intestinal microbiota transplant to the connection between the microbiome and cancer, our program has been highlighted in the media on a variety of topics.

Achieving Cures Together Virtual Event

Please join us on October 15th to learn more about the impact of our work.

What we do

Develop effective and practical restorative microbiota therapies and

discover novel strategies to nurture and maintain healthy microbiota.

Our program pioneered the use of IMT to restore intestinal health

and created the first stool donor program worldwide.

Microbiota

The intestine contains highly organized, dense communities of microbes called microbiota. The intestinal microbiota is integral to human physiology and plays an important role in immunity, energy metabolism, and function of the nervous system.

Clostridium difficile

Serious disease can occur when the intestinal microbiota is damaged by antibiotics. One of the diseases is Clostridium difficile infection, commonly known as C. diff or CDI.  Restoration of normal composition of gut microbes via intestinal microbiota transplantation is emerging as the most effective treatment for CDI.

Therapeutics

Lifestyle changes, such as diet and use of antibiotics, may change the composition of microbiota and contribute to many modern diseases: inflammatory bowel diseases, allergies, cancers, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. Investigating how intestinal microbiota transplants can treat these diseases is a new frontier in medicine. ​

Intestinal Microbiota Transplants and CDI

Founded in 2012, the University of Minnesota intestinal microbiota donor program was the first of its kind worldwide. Over 800 patients have received intestinal microbiota transplants free of charge through the program.

CDI Patients

Recurrent cycles of C. difficile infection can be devastating to physical and mental health. Intestinal microbiota transplant repairs the healthy composition of gut microbes and restores the body’s defenses against C. difficile.

IMT Donors

The idea of donating stool is still quite novel. The process has many parallels to blood donation, with some differences. Our stool donors save lives!

Effective. Safe.

Life Changing.

Intestinal microbiota transplant repairs the healthy composition of gut microbes and restores the body’s defenses against recurrent C. difficile infection.

IMTs performed

%

IMT success rate

IMT capsules produced

Cost to Patients

Our Partnership With Achieving Cures Together

Achieving Cures Together is a nonprofit organization started by University of Minnesota alumnus Peter Westerhaus during his college term at Carlson School of Management. This organization raises funds specific to our program via marathon sponsorships and other events. Visit the Achieving Cures Together website for more information.

Gut Microbiome Health

What you eat and drink has an impact on the microbes that live in your intestinal tract. The composition of your intestinal microbial community has an impact on your health.

Current Research

Our team collaborates with clinicians and researchers around the world to explore novel therapeutic uses for intestinal microbiota transplants.

We are developing a clinical trial to use IMT in high risk patients, such as those who are older and have diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity to prevent COVID-19-associated complications and death.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is studying the efficacy of IMT for the prevention of recurrent C. difficile infection (CDI)  after treatment of recurrent CDI with standard antimicrobial therapy.

We are currently recruiting patients with ulcerative colitis for an intestinal microbiota transplant clinical research study.

Studying the effects of intestinal microbiota transplant in veterans with cirrhosis.

Intestinal microbiota transplants for children with Pitts Hopkins Syndrome and gastrointestinal disorders.

The University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center is recruiting patients for an IMT clinical trial to understand the clinical efficacy of IMT treatment for patients with acute myeloid leukemia and patients receiving allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplants.

Intestinal microbiota transplant for children with autism spectrum disorder who have gastrointestinal disorders.

Our Research Team

The intestinal microbiota research and therapeutics team is led by Dr. Alexander Khoruts, Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. The team is comprised of world class U of MN faculty and staff who bring passion and diverse skill sets to the clinical care setting and to the lab bench.

FMT or IMT: That is the Question

In 2010, a group of physicians published recommendations on how to perform a microbiota transplant. At that time, they decided upon the term Fecal Microbiota Transplant. As the years passed, the phrase began to be abbreviated to Fecal Transplant. Concerned about the negative connotation of this term, Dr. Khoruts teamed up with Dr. Brandt to pave a path toward the use of Intestinal Microbiota Transplantation (IMT) instead.

Capsules Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash

(microbiota) Icons made by <a href="https://www.flaticon.com/authors/xnimrodx" title="xnimrodx">xnimrodx</a> from <a href="https://www.flaticon.com/" title="Flaticon"> www.flaticon.com</a>

(c. diff) Icon made by <a href="http://www.freepik.com/" title="Freepik">Freepik</a> from <a href="https://www.flaticon.com/" title="Flaticon"> www.flaticon.com</a>

(therapeutics) Icons made by <a href="https://www.flaticon.com/authors/freepik" title="Freepik">Freepik</a> from <a href="https://www.flaticon.com/" title="Flaticon"> www.flaticon.com</a>

(poop and capsule) Icons made by <a href="http://www.dariusdan.com/" title="Darius Dan">Darius Dan</a> from <a href="https://www.flaticon.com/" title="Flaticon"> www.flaticon.com</a>

© 2020 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy Statement