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.”

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.