In brief

Bruxelles Woluwe

Our research group proposes an approach based on integrative physiology, metabolism and nutrition, to investigate the role of the gut microbiota in the development of

  1. metabolic disorders associated with obesity (metabolic inflammation, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases)
  2. behavioural disorders associated with obesity (hypothalamic and hedonic control of appetite)  or alcohol dependence
  3. malnutrition (cachexia associated with tumor development, nutrient deficiencies, ageing....), and
  4. in tumor development and drug metabolism. Our scientific activities are mostly focusing on nutrients targeting the gut microbiota, such as carbohydrates which escape the digestion (e.g., prebiotics) or plant-derived compounds (e.g., polyphenols) which are metabolized in the colon by specific bacteria.  We also isolate and characterize novel bacteria considered as next-generation beneficial microbes (e.g., Akkermansia muciniphila). 

Hence, our aims are to understand the molecular mechanisms linking gut microbes to host metabolism and behaviour, with a focus on gut endocrine and barrier functions and repair (wound healing), endocannabinnoid system, organ (liver, muscle, brain, adipose tissue) dysfunctions. The development of functional foods targeting the gut appears as an interesting way to modulate key metabolic and immune functions in the body, with the ultimate aim to improve health and well-being.