Laura Mancin

Ritratto Laura Mancin

Neuroscience, Technology, and Society, XXXV series
Grant sponsor


Antonio Paoli

GianAntonio Susto

Project description
The recent technological advances, computational models and mathematical formulas allow researchers to investigate how complex processes are connected and how disruptions of these processes may contribute to the development of complex multifactorial diseases and specific metabolic responses to different physical stress. Modeling approaches have led to a recent realization that differential human responses to metabolic changes induced by diseases, treatment or sports and exercise, may be rather be driven by external factors such as diet, exercise, general lifestyle and microbiota. Gut microbiota (the bacteria living in our gut) have co-evolved with us across evolutionary time and we now understand that they are closely linked to many aspects of health. Thus, microbiota changes may be harnessed to change human physiology, including treatment of diseases, targeting personalized nutritional advices or lifestyle optimization such as enhancing energy use for athletes. However, limitations in “big data mining” and bioinformatics-specific pipelines limit the interpretative and translational potentials regarding the interactions between microbiome, diet and host physiology. My research focuses on developing data-mining principles and procedures to improve metagenomic studies as well as adding metabolomics to understand the functional mechanisms of how microbiome influence human physiology, and, more specifically, the metabolic changes in athletic population. Metabolites are a surrogate of the physiological/phenotypic state, making them an ideal way to track human physiology changes. This approach may close the methodological gap between system biology and translational medicine. The integration of biological, physical and sport sciences, mathematics, engineering and computational technology is a powerful approach to research with the potential to lead to medical and technological breakthroughs.