Dr. Omry Koren is a former Research Associate at the Department of Microbiology at Cornell University in New York. He joined BIU's School of Medicine in the Galilee as a Senior Lecturer in 2014. At BIU, his research focuses on microbiology, microbiome and microbiotas.
Dr. Koren's main field of research is infectious diseases. He researches bacterial genome sequences to determine the relationship between human lifestyle, bacteriome repertoires, and human health problems such as obesity and diabetes.
He is also doing research to help patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. On. In the near future, Dr. Koren will being collaborating with doctors at Bar-Ilan’s affiliated hospitals in the Galilee who are treating MS patients.
“Our lab studies the microbiome in health and disease. We are interested in how changes in the microbiota affect the health of the host and how we can control these changes for our benefit.” Koren’s research is aimed at elucidating the mechanisms behind environment-by-host–by-microbiome interactions. This research lends itself to many potential applications and collaborations at the Dangoor Centre for Personalized Medicine.
Dr. Omry Koren has recently received the prestigious Minerva Award for Research Cooperation and High Excellence in Science (ARCHES),the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant, and grants from IHEL – The Londrina Hematology Institute, and Israel’s Ministry of Health. He earned his MSc and PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology at Tel-Aviv University.
Annual Activity Report, March 2017 - Polycystic ovary syndrome, diet and the microbiome
The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), consisting of anovulation, is the leading cause of infertility and affects up to 10% of reproductive age women.
Working hypothesis and aims: We hypothesize that women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have an altered microbiota compared to normal ovulatory women and that a low-carbohydrate diet will positively alter their gut microbiota leading to improvement in their overall symptoms and fertility. Therefore, we aim to characterize the microbiome of normal and overweight healthy, PCOS untreated, and PCOS diet-treated women and to test whether the diet intervention affects symptoms and health. We further aim to perform fecal transplants from all study groups into germ-free mice in order to show a causal effect between the microbiome and health outcomes, as well as test the metabolomics profiles of each group. Outcomes of this research will likely lead to improvement of current treatments for PCOS in overweight as well as normal weight women, and to an understanding of the roles of gut microbiota composition in PCOS.
Results: While we are still in the process of recruitment and sample collection, we have to date tested and analyzed the microbiota of a sample group of control vs. PCOS subjects (PCOS subjects including a sample from before intervention and after the diet intervention), and found distinct differences between groups. With the analysis of the full study group we hope to show that these differences are statistically significant and perhaps detect additional differences between groups.