Maria Novella Nicese, MSc

I am currently a PhD student working in the group of Dr. Joris Rotmans. My project focuses on the relationship between diabetic nephropathy (DN) and gut microbiome. The aim is to understand how the onset and the progression of DN can be influenced by the difference in composition of the gut microbiome, also depending on the ethnicity of belonging.

In order to achieve such goal, my project includes an extensive animal study, where mice affected by DN are transplanted with fecal samples of people from the HELIUS cohort. These samples are collected and provided by our collaborators at the Amsterdam UMC.

Alongside the animal work, I am also focusing on in vitro experiments, where both single cells and organoids are treated with microbiota-derived metabolites and diabetic serum. In this way, we want to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of diabetic nephropathy and how the gut microbiota can interfere with such process.