Byndloss Unbiased Drawing

The Byndloss Lab's research centers on inflammation-induced gut dysbiosis and its role in non-communicable diseases such as IBD, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. As depicted in the piece, inflammation mediates an imbalance in the microbial ecosystem. A focus in the Byndloss lab is studying how inflammation changes result in gut dysbiosis.

Skylar Cuevas - Salmonella piece

One of the Byndloss Lab's research focus is on intestinal inflammation induced by S. Typhimurium, a Salmonella enterica serotype. Inflammation allows the pathogen to outcompete other microbiota in the intestines by increasing the amount of the amino acid aspartate in the gut. This piece provides an cartoon visual of S. Typhimurium making the conversion of aspartate to fumarate in order to better thrive in the gut.

Skylar Cuevas - E. Coli Piece

Another research focus of the Byndloss Lab includes the connection between a high fat diet and E. coli choline catabolism. A high fat diet increases the bioavailability of nitrate and host-derived oxygen, leading to an expansion of E. coli. E.coli depends on nitrate for choline utilization, concluding that a high fat diet triggers choline catabolism by E. coli. This piece depicts an simplified version of the process beginning with diet and ending with catabolism in the gut.

The Mariana Byndloss Lab

In high-income countries, the leading causes of death are non-communicable diseases, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), cancer and cardiovascular disease. An important feature of most non-communicable diseases is inflammation-induced gut dysbiosis characterized by a shift in the microbial community structure from obligate to facultative anaerobes such as Proteobacteria. This microbial imbalance can contribute to disease pathogenesis due to either a microbiota-derived metabolite being depleted or produced at a harmful concentration. However, little is known about the mechanism by which inflammation mediates changes in the host physiology to induce disruption of the microbial ecosystem in our large intestine leading to disease.

Our group uses a multidisciplinary approach combining microbiology, molecular biology, cell biology, immunology and pathology to try to understand how inflammation-dependent changes in gut epithelial metabolism can result in gut dysbiosis and increased risk to non- communicable disease. Specifically, we used a variety of mouse models, including diet-induced-obesity, chemical-induced colitis, infectious gastroenteritis (Salmonella enterica serovar Typhiumurium), and germ-free animals with the goal to identify metabolic pathways in the gut bacteria and in the host response to microbiota-induced metabolites that will aid in prevention of human disease. 

The artists

Skylar Cuevas

In January of 2020, I began working with Dr. Oliver in the ArtLab program pursing my interest in the intersection of art and science. I decided to become apart of the AiR Program in order to broaden my experience and work with a lab to create artworks for their research.

Paired to work with Dr. Byndloss and her lab, I was challenged with creating pieces representing the lab's research on non-communicable diseases. A highlight of the lab's research focuses on inflammation-induced gut dysbiosis due to microbial imbalance. These two cover pieces were created to depict Dr. Byndloss's two abstracts on S. Typhimurium expansion and the license of Escherichia coli choline catabolism as a result of a high fat diet.

The purpose of these pieces is to produce a simple visual for those to reference when interpreting Dr. Byndloss's abstracts. With that in mind, the pieces are less abstract in an artistic sense and more straightforward in regard to labeling chemical structures and visualizing their location in the mechanism (represented metaphorically in the piece on S. Typhimurium) and body.

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