Microbial and Nutritional Immunology (MiNI)

MiNI aims at investigating how microbes and compounds in our environment, in particular food components, affect the immune system. Focus is to identify specific molecules and pathways involved in the interaction between microbes, food compounds and immune system and to improve our understanding of the underlying mechanisms in this interplay.

Overall, we aim to improve our understanding of the role of the immune system in health and disease and thus facilitating the identification of biomarkers of health and disease.

We work in the following project areas:

Cellular mechanisms behind microbial stimulation of APCs Dependent on specific molecular structures different microbes induce specific immune responses in antigen presenting cells (APCs).

Early immune development The rapid development of the immune system during embryogenesis and in the early postnatal period is influenced by microbes and nutrition which may have long term effects.

Nutrition –gut microbiota – inflammation Various food components may beneficially or adversely affect inflammatory states in the body. The effect may be direct or indirect through modulation of gut microbiota.

Structures of food compounds and the food matrix Physical chemical properties of food compounds such as protein emulsions and fibres may affect their interaction with cells of the immune system.