Microbiota modulation strategies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease management

The microbial community in our guts is more and more implicated in various aspects of human health and disease. As such, this collection of microbes presents an as-of-yet underexplored target for treatment strategies for a wide variety of gut-related conditions. 

This project will formulate microbiota modulating strategies in inflammatory bowel disease and includes the set-up of a validation pipeline that starts in the lab and ends in the clinic. More specifically, the research is focused on the development of microbe-based therapies for several forms of inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), which are characterized by a global need for more efficient treatment. The translational trajectory of the project (MIMOSA) follows a structured, streamlined and time efficient path with a clinical accelerator pipeline, a strong focus on only those microbiome-modulation research lines that passed the basic research stage, and a clinic-oriented, agile project taskforce.  

A strong reverse translational component in the form of a novel fast-track drug repurposing workflow reinforces the microbial cocktail development with a design strategy based on feedback from clinical trial insights. This will also be used to develop clinical guidelines with immediate application through close interaction with stakeholders. 

This project aims to combine fundamental and applied research to deliver novel and effective treatment strategies that can be leveraged quickly for a large patient population.

Specific goals are:
  • Explore microbiome-targeting treatment strategies for different types of inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Establish a clinical accelerator pipeline to yield fast results that can be implemented in patient treatment.
  • Ensure several intermediate deliverables and grow the project’s structural assets to secure long-term development of the project.
Project funding:
€2.5 million


 Mimosa: Microbiota against Inflammatory Bowel Disease



​The consortium proposing this project brings together top-expertise in microbiology and clinical trials and development, including partners at Imelda General Hospital in Bonheiden. A close collaboration of the different groups involved will ensure a multidisciplinary approach.


Jeroen Raes (promotor-spokesperson)
Johan Thevelein

KU Leuven- UZ Leuven

Séverine Vermeire 

Imelda General Hospital Bonheiden

Peter Bossuyt

This is what Jeroen Raes has to say about the VIB Grand Challenges Program :
I am very excited to receive the Grand Challenges funding. The microbiome field is moving from observing microbiota shifts in disease to actually trying to do something about it. In this project we will test multiple approaches to modulate the microbiota in inflammatory bowel diseases – I am really hoping we can contribute to tackling these dreadful conditions."

-> Go back to the overview page of 'VIB Grand Challenges Program'​

Jeroen Raes​