Microbiota Therapeutics laboratory - Jio Institute Skip to main content
AI generated file to demonstrate microbiome engineering research in Varun Aggarwala's laboratory at the Jio Institute

Data and Compute Resources 

We collaborate extensively with clinicians and identify longitudinal microbiota samples (both in health and disease, with matched controls) to develop models and test our hypotheses. In our golden age of publicly available high-quality genomic datasets, we benefit tremendously from repurposing independent studies for our investigations. We also have access to high throughput sequencing and a biobanking facility for our projects. AWS and NSM Param are used for our high performance computing requirements. We will soon have a well-stocked laboratory for benchside research. 


Our central theme is to engineer the microbiota but this is conditional on modeling and mechanistic understanding of underlying microbial dynamics Towards this, we are actively pursuing the following projects 

  1. Pangenomic representation of human commensal microbes to model microbiome dynamics in complex social settings (multiple donors, recipients or community with extensive sharing of microbes).
  2. Antibiotic resistance reservoirs: Modelling, stability and engineering techniques to reset it
  3. Microbiome for Age: Modelling, variation across lifespan, and engineering techniques for microbiome maturity. 
  4. Microbiome (im)maturity in children with undernutrition, and symbiotic interventions to reverse cognitive stunting.  
  5. Bacterial strain dynamics post Faecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT) for Ulcerative Colitis (UC). 
  6. Microbial Predictors for both clinical endpoint and longevity of response post-FMT for UC.
  7. Identification of super stool donors and superior interventional methodologies by integrating 1000s of FMT.
  8. Computational approaches to achieve actionable strain level resolution for commensal microbes.
  9. Core commensal microbiota in early childhood and its impact on the seeding of transient microbes.
  10. FMT registries, donor engraftment (urban vs rural), stool biobanks & hub for Indian microbiota therapeutics. 

Laboratory philosophy and culture 

We have an open non-hierarchical lab culture and encourage critical discussions and respect independent thoughts. The PI firmly believes that the success of trainees will be the true barometer of his own success and is committed to ensuring a productive environment that will benefit every stakeholder. We welcome creative ideas but insist on every project to make a positive impact on therapeutics, and thus contribute to the Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India mission to realise our collective civilizational potential in this Amrit kaal.

Programme Leadership