Fischbach explains his search for antibiotic-producing bacteria in the human gut

The bacteria in the human gut that produce antibiotics are the focus of a US$1 million W. M. Keck Foundation grant being led by Michael Fischbach, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy.

He explains here the goal of the project: to identify antibiotics produced by gut bacteria and determine how these antibiotics affect the composition of the entire gut bacterial community.

Research results could help reveal the causes of and new treatments for:

  • Crohn's disease
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • colorectal cancer

Fischbach's collaborators are from Stanford University and the University of California, San Diego. The two-year Medical Research Program grant began January 2011 and is titled, “Beyond the Human Microbiome: The human gut as an antibiotic discovery engine.”


School of Pharmacy, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, PharmD Degree Program, BMI, QBC, CCB, PSPG, Bioinformatics

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.