Ami Bhatt awarded Rosenkranz Prize for Health Care Research in Developing Countries

Ami Bhatt
Ami Bhatt has won the Rosenkranz Prize for Health Care Research in Developing Countries (Photo: Norbert von der Groeben)

Studying the microorganisms that live in our gut is a relatively new field, one that has taken off in the last decade. It is estimated that half of the microbes that live in and around our gastrointestinal tract have yet to be discovered.

“This means there is a huge amount of this dark matter within us,” says AMI BHATT, assistant professor of medicine and of genetics. Her lab is devoted to exploiting disease vulnerabilities by cataloging the human microbiome, the trillions of microbes living in and on our bodies.

“I think if we fast-forward to the impact of some of these findings in 10 years, we’re going to learn that modifying the microbiota is a potent way to modulate health,” Bhatt says. “Humans are not only made up of human cells, but are a complex mixture of human cells and the microbes that live within us and among us — and these microorganisms are as critical to our well-being as we are to theirs.”

Bhatt now intends to take this research to Africa. She will work alongside collaborators at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and the INDEPTH Network, an international consortium of research institutions that gathers health and demographic data from about 20 low- and middle-income countries.

She is this year’s winner of the Rosenkranz Prize for Health Care Research in Developing Countries. The $100,000 prize is awarded by Stanford Health Policy to promising young Stanford researchers who are investigating ways to improve health care in developing countries.

Read the Stanford Medicine news story.