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Professor Ines Thiele Principal investigator of the Molecular Systems Physiology group

My research aims at understanding how diet influences human health to help people to make better diet choices in the future. To disentangle this complex relationship, I develop and use comprehensive, computational models of human and gut microbial metabolism. While the human models provide information on what the human body can do with the nutrients (e.g., energy expenditure or fat storage), the microbes in our gut play a crucial role in helping us to digest dietary components, thereby, providing us with important nutrients and vitamins.
Hence, these microbial models are combined with the human model. We use user-specific data (e.g., microbiome or blood biochemistry data) to personalise the microbe-human model to create a digital version of a person, like a digital mirror image.
This digital version may be used to test what would happen if the person changes their diet, completely or only in part. Or which drug would yield the best outcome for a person? To develop and improve these models, we focus on gastrointestinal and neurodegenerative diseases. Bespoke nutrition and personalised drug treatments require comprehensive computer models and they will change how we treat diseases as an integral precision medicine approach.