Ashutosh Mangalam, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Office Room #:1080A ML
Office Phone #:319-335-8558

Lab Room #:1080 ML
Lab Phone #:319-335-8205

Lab Website:

Role of microbiome in autoimmune inflammatory diseases

The major goal of my research is to understand the interaction between gut microbiota, diet and immune response and their role in health and disease. Recent studies on gut microbiota sug­gests that microbiome and/or their metabolites play an important role in maintaining a homeosta­sis at mucosal as well as peripheral organs. Perturbation of the same might lead to increased pathobionts and metabolic changes resulting in predisposition to diseases. My research program focuses on two interconnected themes: i) to understand the role of gut microbiome and metabo­lome in the etiopathogenesis of MS; and ii) test therapeutic efficacy of human gut derived bacteria in animal models of MS. To achieve that we first performed a fecal microbiota analysis to Identify the gut microbiota which are depleted or enriched in MS patients (Sci Rep 2016). Specifically, we have observed that Prevotella, Parabacteroides, and Adlercreutzia were depleted whereas Pseu­domonas, Blautia, Dorea and Mycoplana was enriched in in patients with MS. To test our bedside to bench approach, we isolated Prevotella histicola belonging to genus Prevotella (bacteria de­pleted in MS patients) and tested its ability to modulate disease in a preclinical model (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis-EAE) of MS. We showed that P. histicola can sup­press EAE in HLA-class II transgenic mice (Cell Reports 2017).Current research in our lab is fo­cused on understanding how certain bacteria can predispose to- or protect from disease. We have established all the tool and techniques required to successfully execute Human microbiome studies (sample collections, DNA extraction, library preparation, sequencing, and data analysis). Besides human microbiome analysis our laboratory is also utilizing Germ-free mice and conven­tional mice to determine the mechanism through which microbiome modulate host physiology es­pecially immune response.   In another project we are utilizing transgenic mice expressing autoimmune prone HLA class-II molecules to understand their role in selection of gut flora and its effect on development of adaptive immune system.

PubMed link

Department/Program Affiliations:
Molecular Medicine