Academy of Finland funding for Docent Terhi Tapiainen

Docent Terhi Tapiainen, an Emerging project PI in Biocenter Oulu, has received funding for clinical researchers from The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Health. Her project title is Fetal microbiome, developing immune system and health in children. Funding is 227 959 € for 4 years starting in September 2018.

Project description

 Our proposal relates to the recent paradigm shift: Fetus is not sterile. Fetus is immunologically active. In animal models, maternal bacteria actively colonize fetal gut before birth. In clinical practice, 10-20 % of mothers receive antimicrobial treatment during pregnancy. Maternal antibiotics could disturb the developing fetal microbiome and immune system and have a long-term effect on the health of children. Our hypothesis is 1. Fetal microbiome is actively formed during normal pregnancy before birth. 2. Maternal factors and antibiotics during pregnancy can disturb the fetal colonization. 3. Fetal microbiome modifies the development of immune system. 4. Disturbed fetal microbiome could result in increased risk of autoimmune and allergic diseases Our study population consists of 500 newborn infants. Our research can reveal how environmental factors modify the immune system before birth. Our results can be used to prevent autoimmune and allergic diseases.

Last updated: 15.6.2018