The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Biology and Biomedicine category has gone in this eleventh edition to American researcher Jeffrey Gordon, for his fundamental discovery of the importance of the gut microbial community to human health, in the words of the committee.
“Gordon and his team were the first to demonstrate the importance of the gut microbiome in regulating animal physiology,” the citation continues. “Following this fundamental discovery, it has been shown by many groups around the world that the gut microbiome plays a central role in health and in disease, including obesity, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease, and perhaps will have great implications on the pathogenesis of neurological disorders and response to drug therapy.”
Gordon’s work has ushered in a brand new area of basic research in biomedicine exploring the role of microbes in the body’s healthy functioning, and has enabled new research directions in the study of multiple conditions, as well as the search for novel treatments.
Gordon discovered, for instance, that gut flora may contribute to the onset of obesity. And he was also able to show that the long-term effects of childhood malnutrition, like impaired brain and immune system development, are determined not only by diet but also by the assembly or otherwise of a healthy microbiome.
Read more at: Eureka Alert