Faculty - BioInnovation Institute



Professor Morten Otto Alexander Sommer

Microbial cell therapies for modulating the gut-brain axis

The gut-brain axis is established with important roles in several debilitating diseases, including depression, anxiety and Parkinson disease. However, limited therapeutic options are available to modulate the gutbrain axis. We created a first microbial cell therapy producing the neuroactive compound serotonin in situ of the gut, which leads to statistically significant changes in behavioral markers of depression and anxiety.

Partners on project:
University: DTU
Principle investigator & project team: Professor Morten Otto Alexander Sommer, Collaborating PI Asst. Professor Harris Wang, Univ. Columbia
Professor Jay Keasling

Microbial production of therapeutic alkaloids

Monoterpenoid indole alkaloids (MIAs) are plant-derived natural products with remarkable structural diversity and a myriad of applications as therapeutics, nutraceuticals, pest control agents, colorants, and materials precursors. The project focuses on developing a robust microbial platform for production of any desired MIA, to do the business development to determine the target MIAs that an eventual company will commercialize, and to construct separate yeast hosts that will produce these molecules at high tier, rates and yields.

Partners on project:
Universities: DTU,
Principle investigator & project team: Professor Jay D. Keasling, Senior researcher: Michael Krogh Jensen, Senior researcher: Jie Zhang. C