Dear ECTS members,
It’s a great pleasure for me to accept this invitation from Proff. Guañabens to give my contribution in this NewsLetter. First of all I want to thank the ECTS/AMGEN Bone Biology Fellowship 2017 for this very important award, I guarantee that I will make every effort to ensure that this project could give us good results and relevant innovations for the clinical practice.
This fellowship has a lot of meaning for me and for my career, first of all it gives me the opportunity to study and improve my knowledge about human gut microbiota and about the implications of this additional organ on bone metabolism and skeletal health. This award also represents a great goal for my newborn career, on which it has a strong impact not only for its importance but also for the future perspectives that it provides to me.
During the Award Ceremony at the last ECTS congress in Salzburg I received not only an award and an opportunity but also a great responsibility toward all the scientific ECTS community and I hope that in future I will be able to show you some interesting results. Moreover, I am very excited because as you can imagine, this project will be also an important challenge for me especially if you consider my age. It needs a lot of effort, organization and knowledge, in particular regarding the enrollment of patients and for the complex world of Next Generation Sequences techniques, but I think that it will not be a problem because in our job taking on new challenges is one of the most beautiful things and, as Paulo Coelho said, “ If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal “.
In this project we are planning to perform an extensive analysis of gut microbiota in women before and after surgical oophorectomy in order to establish its implications in skeletal health and to confirm the beneficial effects of probiotics during menopause transition.
In the last years a lot of papers have investigated the possible correlation between microbiota and bone, a story that starts some years ago with the discovery of the fundamental role of microbiota in host development, physiology and metabolism and it leads to more recent experimental studies suggesting a clear implication of gut microbiota and the positive effects of probiotics on bone health in mice, particularly in conditions of estrogen deficiency. However, there is no information concerning the impact of gut microbiota on bone fragility in humans; in this settings the tasks of the current research project represent an original and exciting challenge that might open new avenues in this investigation and possibly unravel a novel level of complexity of the mechanisms leading to bone loss and fractures in women after the onset menopause. Indeed gaining insight into the interaction between microbiota and bone health would be of general interest for either basic or clinical scientists and will prompt interdisciplinary collaborations, coordination and excellence in accordance with the ECTS, making possible to develop novel combined therapeutic approaches for the prevention of osteoporosis, one of the leading age-related threat for health, not only in females but also in elderly men.
Finally I want to thank my mentor and all my collaborators at the University of Siena and Di Mario Foundation for all their huge support.
Dr. Simone Bianciardi