Current Research

Featured Study: REIMAGINE

REIMAGINE is the first large-scale initiative to map the small bowel microbiome, in order to examine the importance of these microbes in the context of disease. The human small intestine performs key roles in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune response. But most characterizations of the human gut microbiome have relied on stool samples. We sought to REIMAGINE the ways in which the gut microbiome is studied by focusing on the microbiota of the small intestine, and its roles in human health and disease.



Tools are needed for evaluating the human microbiome, and numerous challenges have needed to be overcome to study the microbiome of the small intestine. The innovation of a novel catheter was integral to the REIMAGINE study. We developed a novel system for quickly and easily obtaining small intestine aspirates. 
We also invented a light technology able to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. Currently, we are investigating how this technology, Healight, could have applications and dramatic impacts across a wide spectrum of microbiome and infectious diseases.


Since discovering in 2015 that Rifaximin is an effective treatment for IBS, we’ve shown how IBS can develop from food poisoning, and developed a blood test to diagnose IBS. Now we are developing therapies for methanogens and therapies for short bowel syndrome.

We discovered the efficacy of the cholesterol lowering drug lovastatin for improving IBS-C by inhibiting enzymes that assist in methane production. 


We are accelerating the development of innovations that will lead to faster diagnostics for patients. We developed the only breath test to measure hydrogen, methane and hydrogen sulfide to help diagnose and differentiate between small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), intestinal methanogenic overgrowth (IMO) and diarrhea. 

We are now focusing on creating diagnostics for various microbiome disorders that are being discovered through the REIMAGINE platform and this will be the future of diagnostics coming out of MAST.

Single Bug – Single Disease

The MAST team is also taking a closer look at the relationships between single organisms and single diseases. Targets include metabolic abnormalities, liver disease, neurological problems and autoimmune conditions, diabetes and obesity. 
Stay tuned for more.

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