Monica Ganan, a Venezuelan researcher and business manager of technology transfer, based at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, is our first invited author to our brand new series, Commentaries. She discusses here the pros and cons of a novel field of therapy, Fecal Microbiota Transplantation, FMT, directed to correct or ameliorate dysfunctional microbiota, or dysbiosis (imbalance of gut bacteria), a condition that became common to many ailments that span well beyond the gastrointestinal tract, to affect a wide range of systems from immunity, metabolism, circadian rhythm, and even the nervous system and cognition, too many others. It turns out that several of the world-renown leaders of research on microbiota are, indeed, Venezuelans, such as Gloria Dominguez-Bello at Rutgers University, in the USA; and Vanessa K, Ridaura, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIAID, USA. Another distinguished researcher of the microbiota is Eliana Mariño, whose work at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, was the subject of a previous review at CientMed. On her Commentary, Dr. Mónica Ganan reviews some of the current approaches of FMT to treat a particular dysbiosis, that is, the one caused by recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). She concludes with a cautionary admonition, «In spite of the promising results of FMT for CDI treatment and potentially various other health conditions, several barriers still remain. These include understanding the definition of a good donor for specific conditions and elucidating the precise mechanisms of action, ensuring short and long-term safety for the transplantation recipient, establishing uniform protocols for stool preparation, and finding the best models of administration.»
Rafael Rangel-Aldao, Editor
By combining a background in both scientific and business disciplines, Dr Monica Ganan has extensive knowledge of the pharma, biotech and the healthtech industries as well as the broader and evolving trends across the healthcare landscape. Through her roles in innovation, intellectual property, business development and work at the interface between industry and academia, Dr Ganan is experienced at sourcing, negotiating and implementing bespoke and complex partnerships that accelerate the development of innovations and new technologies towards patient benefit and commercial success. Dr Ganan has a PhD in microbiology from the Autonomous University of Madrid, based on the study of the mechanisms underlying the colonisation of intestinal pathogens, and strategies to reduce it, including the use of prebiotics and probiotics. She has worked as a biomedical researcher in world-renowned institutions including the University of Reading (UK), Oslo University Hospital (Norway), the Functional Foods Forum (Finland), and the National Research Council (Spain).