Jonathan Thorsen

Portrait of Jonathan Thorsen
Jonathan Thorsen, MD, PhD

Functional maturation of the infant gut microbiome in the development of childhood asthma and allergy

There are sophisticated communities of trillions of bacteria living in our gut which undergo a tremendous development during the first few years of life. We recently discovered that a disturbance in this natural bacterial development, characterized by a lack of certain bacteria,
can sometimes lead to asthma later in childhood.

The project will be performed in two groups, each leading in their respective fields (clinical asthma research and bioinformatics), and it will use cutting-edge DNA analysis of the bacteria living in the gut of infants to discover which bacteria protect from asthma, and which functions
encoded in their genes are responsible for this protective effect. We will then use this information to define groups of bacteria that can work together to prevent asthma, by combining each of their unique individual capabilities. The ultimate goal is to someday be able to give a probiotic cocktail of beneficial bacteria to children at risk in order to prevent
them getting asthma.


Basic Mentor: Associate Professor Manimozhiyan Arumugam, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR), University of Copenhagen

Clinical Mentor: Senior Scientist Jakob Stokholm, COPSAC, Herlev Gentofte Hospital