Sonia Villapol, Houston Methodist Research Institute
The gut microbiome is an essential neuromodulator of brain-gut axis signaling, which can affect brain inflammation and pathology. Our central hypothesis is that gut microbiome of Alzheimer´s (AD) mice is linked to detrimental outcomes after brain damage. We utilized fecal microbiota transplants from AD mice and healthy young controls. We then relied on Oxford Nanopore MinION full-length 16S rRNA sequencing to analyze genus and species level dynamics in the fecal microbiome and analyze the associated neuropathology. While mice after fecal transplants had similar bacterial diversity as donors, the mice transplanted with young microbiota presented reduced inflammation and motor disfunction.
Sonia Villapol obtained her PhD in Neuroscience from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, (Spain). She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at University Pierre and Marie Curie VI (France), and at the National Institutes of Health and Uniformed Services University (MD, USA). Sonia previously worked at Georgetown University (Washington, DC) as a Research Assistant Professor. Since July 2018, she is as an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Houston Methodist Research Institute (TX), and at Weill Cornell Medical College (NY).