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Jenny Ting
Jenny Ting, PhD (Distinguished Professor, Genetics and Microbiology and Immunology)

Jenny Ting, PhD (Distinguished Professor, Genetics and Microbiology and Immunology) was awarded a new grant from the NMSS for her project titled “Investigating a novel beneficial gut microbe for potential MS therapy”.

Gut microbiome dysbiosis has been extensively linked to multiple sclerosis (MS) pathogenesis, with large multi-omic studies such as the international multiple sclerosis microbiome study (iMSMS) correlating several bacterial species and metabolites with MS disease risk and pathogenesis.  While these large studies provide novel insight into potential therapeutic targets, mechanistic studies are required to functionally test whether treating MS patients with certain gut microbes or metabolites.  The Ting lab has preliminarily identified a novel beneficial gut bacterium that has been clinically isolated from a healthy patient where they find it is able to reduce disease severity in animal models of MS, is a competitive colonizer of the gut and making it a strong candidate for MS treatment, is negatively correlated with MS disease, and identify strain-specific effects that highlight the necessity of mechanistic studies to determine specific strains that may be used as a therapeutic.  The aim is to elucidate the mechanism in which this novel bacterium mitigates disease in a progressive mouse model of MS to stop MS, promotes recovery using a demyelination/remyelination recovery mouse model of MS to restore MS, and its translational capability using a humanized in vivo gut microbiome model to cure MS in alignment with the pathways to cures roadmap.