Sune Kjærsgaard Yang-Jensen
Molecular and Translational Pharmacology
2200 København N
I hold a BSc and MSc in Molecular Biomedicine from University of Copenhagen. Currently I am conducting my Ph.D. in the Jensen Group – Nutritional Immunology. My main interest is host-microbe interactions. We as humans have more microbial organism on our bodily surfaces (skin, oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract, etc.) than actual human cells in our entire body. The microbial impact on host health is immense – and double edged. We require microbial colonization to maintain whole-body homeostasis (both metabolically and immunologically), but if microbes are given unrestricted access to our internal environment, it can have detrimental consequences. For that reason, we as host have developed ways to maintain balance by keeping microbes at bay while still benefiting from a controlled colonization – that is, until this balance is disturbed. Faulty host-microbe mutualism is implicated in a wide range of diseases. This faulty wiring, and how to rewire the mutualistic relationship, is one of my greatest interests.
My Ph.D. project focus on the role of gut barrier health in extra-intestinal inflammatory conditions, spanning from metabolic liver inflammation to smoke-induced lung inflammation. My main project aims to understand how nutritional context shape the gut microbiota and gut barrier, and how these factors combined are key drivers of diet-induced liver disease. I furthermore had the opportunity to do research for 4 months at Université Laval, Quebec, Canada, as part of my PhD, where I investigated the gut-lung axis in the context of cigarette somke-induced lung inflammation in mice. I am currently also implicated in a project investigating the potential protective effects of a human host defense peptide on diet-induced metabolic disease and neuroinflammation in mice. Additionally, I am part of setting up a clinical trial aimed to investigate the relationship between gut microbiota, gut barrier integrity, and metabolic health, in humans.