NIH Sep 23, 2008 | R01

Patient perceptions of bioengineered probiotics and clinical metagenomics

Principal Investigator(s): Sharp, Richard

Institution: Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University

FOA Number: RFA-RM-08-006


The launch of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), and the corresponding interest in bioengineered probiotic therapies that this new NIH initiative is likely to generate, provide a unique opportunity for research examining ethical and social considerations in the introduction of new therapeutic modalities. To date, analysis of ethical and social considerations in the use of probiotics have focused on "over the counter" applications where physician involvement in the selection and administration of the probiotic is limited. As new probiotic therapies become a part of the clinician's arsenel, it is important to consider how patients may perceive and respond to new probiotic therapies that are recommended by their physicians. To be successfully integrated into patient care, it is critical that patient attitudes and beliefs regarding bioengineered probiotics be well characterized. Studies of patient perceptions of therapeutic probiotics may reveal common misconceptions about probiotic therapies and/or widespead

concerns that may limit patient enthusiasm for new therapeutic options. This research project will characterize patient perceptions of bioengineered probiotics and other potential clinical applications of metagenomic analyses of the human microbiome. Empirical results from the project will be presented to a Working Group of national experts in gastroenterology, biomedical ethics, health policy, and patient advocacy, who will identify opportunities to promote the responsible introduction of bioengineered probiotics into the care of patients with debilitating gastrointestinal diseases. These strategies will focus on potential health-policy initiatives and educational interventions that gastroenterologists, patient educators, and voluntary-health organizations can undertake now in anticipation of the time when bioengineered probiotic therapies may be appropriate for routine clinical use.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This research study will examine patient perceptions of bioengineered probiotics and other potential clinical applications of metagenomic analyses of the human microbiome. Systematic data on patient attitudes and beliefs about emerging therapeutic interventions facilitated by the Human Microbiome Project are critically important, as these data can identify potential barriers to the successful integration of bioengineered probiotics into patient care and improve physician-patient communication about new therapeutic options.




Funding Type:

Project Number:

Start Date:
Sep 23, 2008

End Date:
Jul 31, 2011



Related Projects

+ Search results