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Stefanie Widder, Linking ecological keystones and lung microbiome organisation to complex disease developments
4 December 2017 | 11 h 00 min - 12 h 00 min
Stefanie Widder (University of Vienna, Austria; Vice-head of the Division of Computational Systems Biology)
Linking ecological keystones and lung microbiome organisation to complex disease developments in cystic fibrosis
Microbes are everywhere and make up most of the biomass on earth. Frequently, they form microbial communities (MCs) and conduct complex, collective functions that are of highest importance for biogeochemical cycles on earth and human well-being alike. For example, the human gut microbiome can actively promote human health or be etiologic for chronic diseases or cancer. These emergent community functions are driven by microbial interactions. To build predictive understanding and manage microbial functions for the human context, research needs to address all scales involved from metabolic interactions up to ecological roles and community dynamics. In my talk I will present our modelling approach that allows detection of keystone species from NGS data. Such keystones are not only relevant for community persistence, but are also prime targets for improving human health. I will show how networks and graph theory are applicable for pinpointing the dynamics of the human microbiome in airways of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and how our generic framework enables prediction of drug targets in metabolic networks of the CF microbiome. Moreover, the presented concepts are directly transferable to other lung disorders with poly-microbial implication, such as COPD or asthma.
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