12th Man of human health: Tapping into the secrets of our microbiota
June 3, 2014
Until the late 20th century, science recognized 11 organ systems—the muscular, skeletal, circulatory, and respiratory systems are just a few. Each plays a role in keeping a living, breathing human body working smoothly, like player positions on a football team.
But recently, a new “organ system” has been taking the limelight, one which plays a surprising role in keeping us on our game, says a researcher at Texas A&M University.
This so-called twelfth organ system — the “12th Man of human health,” as Assistant Professor Robert C. Alaniz of the Texas A&M Health Science Center’s College of Medicine likes to call it....
Texas A&M researchers looking to microbiota to advance personalized medicine
May 11, 2015
The microbiota, which is comprised of the microorganisms that live in and on humans, has recently become a popular topic with both scientists and the general public, alike. While microbes in general are often seen as the “bad guys” – and the recent Ebola outbreak does not help this interpretation – there is an essential partnership between humans and microbes that showcases the beneficial relationship in metabolic health, immunity, gut function, colorectal cancer, and even behavior.
This host-microbiota connection serves as the driving force for a multi-institutional team of researchers led by Robert Alaniz, Ph.D.....
Researchers at Texas A&M investigate “the pharmacy inside our bodies” for autoimmunity treatments
September 30, 2014
Sometimes we need a good gut check. For Robert C. Alaniz, PhD, Arul Jayaraman PhD, and their interdisciplinary team at the Texas A&M Health Science Center and Texas A&M University, gut checks are taken seriously because they’re not doing them metaphorically. The researchers are actually studying gut bacteria and microbes, referred to as the commensal microbiota, to determine what within this vital system keeps the human body in a healthy balance; and how, if left unchecked, it can knock us out of balance.
The benefits of healthy gut bacteria and microbes have surged into the public consciousness...
Researchers probe healthy gut bacteria for new medical treatments
May 23, 2014
Until the late 20th century, science recognized 11 organ systems—the muscular, skeletal, circulatory, and respiratory systems are just a few. Each plays a role in keeping a living, breathing human body working smoothly, like player positions on a football team. But recently, a new “organ system” has been taking the limelight, one which plays a surprising role in keeping us on our game. This so-called twelfth organ system—the “12th Man of human health,” as Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine Assistant Professor (and Aggie ’91) Robert C. Alaniz, Ph.D. likes to call it—is the vast community of beneficial microbes, dubbed the “microbiota,”...
TEES recognizes multidisciplinary research teams at Engineering Genesis Awards
June 3, 2015
...Jayaraman is a professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering and holder of the Ray Nesbitt Professorship. Jayaraman was awarded a $1.9 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Safety/National Institute of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. His co-PI is Dr. Robert Alaniz from the Texas A&M Health Science Center.
His research project, “Modeling and Analysis of the Role of Microbiota Metabolites in T-Cell Differentiation,” seeks to understand the role that the microbiota metabolites play in mediating an anti-inflammatory environment in the gut, which will potentially improve treatment for inflammatory bowel disease...
Drug discovery pipeline begins in the gut
August 19, 2015
“All disease begins in the gut. Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease,” said Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician.
Of the many disciplines studied in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, biomedicine and biotechnology are areas represented by faculty research. Dr. Arul Jayaraman, Ray Nesbitt Professor and associate department head, was recently awarded funding from the Research Development Fund by the vice president for research at Texas A&M University. The award supports metabolomics research—the scientific study of the set of metabolites present within an organism. The collected data would then lead to industrial development of biomedicines....
Biotech boot camp helps researchers move innovative discoveries to market
August 28, 2015
Texas A&M Health Science Center’s (TAMHSC) faculty members regularly pursue innovative translational research to find solutions to some of today’s most pressing health conditions. However, some of these groundbreaking discoveries do not successfully move from the bench to the bedside because researchers find they have limited training when it comes to commercialization.
Robert C. Alaniz, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, offers his own situation as an example of the challenges faculty face when commercializing their research. “My research colleague and I are unashamed scientists....