Regulation of Metabolism by Microbial Metabolites in the Bäckhed Group

The main goal of the group is to understand the repertoire of microbially produced metabolites that modulates insulin signaling and to identify host receptors and signaling pathways with the greater aim of identifying therapeutic targets to treat cardiometabolic diseases.




The microbial community has an immense capacity to affect host biology and is fundamental to many processes, including the development of our immune system, processing of otherwise indigestible dietary polysaccharides, and vitamin and hormone production. The gut microbiome encodes perhaps 1000-fold more genes than the human genome and provides us with numerous complementary functions and activities.

The overall aim of the Bäckhed Group is to clarify the role of bacteria associated with the human body in the development of metabolic diseases, with particular emphasis on diabetes. A main focus is to identify microbially produced metabolites that contributes to insulin resistance and their host receptors as well as identify how such metabolites affect enteroendocrine cell biology.







  1. "Microbially Produced Imidazole Propionate Impairs Insulin Signaling"
    Published in Cell 2018 this study identified imidazole propionate as a metabolite produced by the gut microbiota that elevated in type 2 diabetes and can directly impair glucose tolerance and insulin signaling.

  2. “Microbial regulation of the L cell transcriptome”
    Published in Scientific Reports in 2018 this study investigates the how the microbiota affects gene expression in L cells from the ileum and colon of germ-free and conventionally raised GLU-Venus mice and finds that the microbiota has a rapid and pronounced effect on the L cell transcriptome, predominantly in the ileum.

  3. “Metformin alters the gut microbiome of individuals with treatment-naive type 2 diabetes, contributing to the therapeutic effects of the drug”
    Published in Nature Medicine in 2017 this double-blind study of randomized individuals with treatment-naive type 2 diabetes on either placebo or metformin finds that metformin has strong effects on the gut microbiome.




























Group Leader

Fredrik Bäckhed

Phone: +45 3533 7033

Fredrik Bäckhed

Staff list

Name Title Phone E-mail
Andersen, Sofie Hjøllund Master Student   E-mail
Arora, Tulika Assistant Professor +4535335383 E-mail
Bäckhed, Gert Fredrik Professor +4535337033 E-mail
Johansen, Marianne Gregers Laboratory Technician. +4535334413 E-mail
Mikkelsen, Randi Bonke Postdoc +4535334898 E-mail
Rosenberg, Carina Onuczak Animal Technician +4535332738 E-mail
Toft, Pernille Baumann Master Student   E-mail