The microbiome and responsiveness to stress: Countermeasure strategies for improving resilience to sleep and circadian disruption.

Project: Research project

Project Details


Emerging evidence indicates that the gut microbiota influences human physiology and behavior with important implications for health, cognitive and affective function, and responses to stress. However, which specific microbes or microbial community structure are associated with positive and negative physiological and behavioral host responses to stress are largely unknown. Increasing our understanding of the microbiota’s role in the stress response and of microbiota-host interactions is important for the development of effective countermeasure strategies to improve stress resilience. Members of the investigative team have preliminary data showing that sleep and circadian disruption, as well as negative affective stress alter the gut microbiota. We propose to address primary objectives of ONRFOA 14-012 testing operationally relevant combinations of behavioral and environmental stressors (e.g., fear, anxiety, temperature stress, sleep deprivation, circadian disruption) on the gut microbiome and microbial metabolome and associated changes in host responses to such stressors. Furthermore, we will characterize individual differences in host stress response and associated changes in gut microbiota and microbial metabolome, and test manipulations of the gut microbiota for improving resilience to stressor exposure.
Effective start/end date9/1/158/30/22


  • University of Colorado (1553361 Amnd 7//N000014-15-1-2809)
  • Office of Naval Research (1553361 Amnd 7//N000014-15-1-2809)


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