ETH Zurich, Zwitzerland

ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) is the leading university in Switzerland for science and technology with 22,200 students, including 4,180 doctoral students, from over 120 countries. The ETH has 21 Nobel Prize winners, including Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Pauli, 1 Fields Medal winner, and 2 Pritzker Prize winners. The ETH Zurich is ranked as one of the top universities in the world: last year it was 4th in Europe and 19th in the world in the Academic Ranking of World Universities -
Shanghai. The ETH is successfully participating in European funding programmes since 2007 and has already obtained 206 ERC grants.
Within the 3D’omics project, the ETH is represented by the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH), which is one of the 7 research institutes at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST). The IFNH focuses on critical issues emerging along the entire food value chain, from the primary raw materials and processing, to metabolic, nutritional, pathogenic and toxicity aspects, to personalized food, and consumer preference and acceptance.
The Laboratory of Food Biotechnology (LFB) at the ETH Zurich was started in 2002 by Prof. Christophe Lacroix and Dr. Annelies Geirnaert, senior research assistant, joined in 2015. LFB is
developing research on the fundamental and technological characterization of functional microbes and their roles in food and intestinal ecosystems of humans and animals in health and disease. This includes ecosystem study, microbe screening and characterization, functional studies, microbial technology, and
intestinal research (from in vitro modelling to in vivo studies).

Expertise and experience
LFB has expert scientific knowledge in the field of pre- and probiotics and other food/feed supplements and their effect on the gut microbiota composition as well as functionality in various monogastric hosts.
LFB has a strong and respected international status in the field of complex gut microbiota in vitro modelling, composition analysis, functional properties and comparative approaches using the in-house developed PolyFermS fermentation system that includes immobilized complex gut microbiota. PolyFermS
has been adapted and validated to model intestinal microbiota of humans, swine and mice and recently chicken. We monitor microbe-host interactions by combining PolyFermS samples with in vitro intestinal cells or with animal models in close collaboration with animal research experts.
We are involved in several national (funded by SNSF, ETH, WFSC) and international (funded by NIH, GCE) multidisciplinary research projects. In relation to the planned animal trials in 3D’omics, we have experience investigating chicken and pig microbiota interactions ex vivo in context of biocontrol of
pathogens and monitoring antibiotic resistance gene transfer.

Role in the project
Sampling and conducting in vitro animal microbiota experiments, which include spatially structured microbiota, for setting up the 3D’ o mics technology and investigating synbiotic-pathogen-microbiota interactions in detail prior to animal trials.