Laura Mancin

Ritratto Laura Mancin

Neuroscience, Technology, and Society, XXXV series
Grant sponsor


Antonio Paoli

GianAntonio Susto


Project: The Athlete's Microbiome Project: from molecular biology to bioinformatic
Full text of the dissertation book can be downloaded from:

Abstract: The gut microbiome represents a real “orchestra conductor” in the host’s physio(patho)logy due to its implications in many aspects of health and disease. Reciprocally, gut microbiome composition and activity are influenced by many different factors, such as diet and physical activity. The massive sequencing of gut microbiome specimens, thanks to the technological advancements in high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics analyses, and more recently, the development of methods to quantify different microbial metabolites, allowed population-level studies to be carried out on the human microbiome. Their findings help to better understand the microbiome’s role in physiology, its functional imbalance in various chronic pathologies and, its implications on athlete’s health and performance. In addition, mechanistic pre-clinical studies have brought novel insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms and can be used to test strategies, such as dietary challenges, to modulate the gut microbiota composition. The aim of our doctoral project was to first highlight the implications of gut microbiome on athlete’s health and then, to focus the attention on the combination of physical activity and nutritional interventions to modulate gut microbiome composition in the context of health and performance (dietary strategies and food supplementation). This new knowledge could be used to develop strategies (i.e., personalized dietary advice, supplementation, physical activity programs) to modulate the gut microbiome with the ultimate goal of improving performance in elite athletes and/or preventing various pathologies related to skeletal muscle metabolism.