Our research focuses on two research lines:

1. Impact of specialized nutrition on gut maturation in early life and later life gut health. Adverse (early life) events such as stress, antibiotic use and undernutrition not only directly impact gut and gut-brain functioning, but also can lead to long-term effects and well-being. Specialized nutrition impacts the gut barrier and epithelial defense under these challenged and unchallenged conditions. In the current projects, the impact of specialized nutrition on gut maturation, permeability and defense is studied in human neonatal mouse models and human neonatal organoid cell cultures. By this approach we aim to 1) obtain mechanistic insight into the impact of nutritional concepts on gut maturation/permeability and gut health during later life and 2) identify biomarkers for healthy gut maturation and gut health in general.

2. Understanding the mechanisms of gut regeneration and how these are recapitulated during the development of colorectal cancer. Making use of various epithelial damage models, transgenic mice and organoid cultures, current research focuses on Arginine biosynthesis pathway deregulation in cancer and epithelial regeneration.

Team leader

Vanesa Muncan

Assistant Professor

Team members

Sarah Ouahoud
Postdoctoral Researcher

Francesca Giugliano
PhD Student

Sander Meisner
Research Analyst

Jacqueline Vermeulen
Research Analyst

Kelly van Wijnbergen


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