Sasha Zhernakova

The research team of Alexandra (Sasha) Zhernakova studies the role of various genetic and environmental factors in the predisposition to common diseases and traits, including gastrointestinal and autoimmune diseases, and ageing. A major research line focuses on the composition of the gut microbiome, the factors that shape the microbiome―including genetics, diet, medication and other environmental factors―and the role of the microbiome in gut health and common diseases.


Impact of occupational pesticide exposure on the human gut microbiome

Milla F Brandao Gois, Asier Fernández-Pato, Anke Huss, Ranko Gacesa, Cisca Wijmenga, Rinse K Weersma, Jingyuan Fu, Roel C H Vermeulen, Alexandra Zhernakova, Virissa C Lenters, Alexander Kurilshikov
Front. Microbiol., 10 August 2023 Sec. Microbial Symbioses Volume 14 - 2023 |

Integrated fecal microbiome-metabolome signatures reflect stress and serotonin metabolism in irritable bowel syndrome

Zlatan Mujagic, Melpomeni Kasapi, Daisy Mae Jonkers, Isabel Garcia-Perez, Lisa Vork, Zsa Zsa R M Weerts, Jose Ivan Serrano-Contreras, Alexandra Zhernakova, Alexander Kurilshikov, Jamie Scotcher, Elaine Holmes, Cisca Wijmenga, Daniel Keszthelyi, Jeremy K Nicholson, Joram M Posma, Ad Am Masclee
Gut Microbes, vol. 14 issue 1

Faecal metabolome and its determinants in inflammatory bowel disease

Arnau Vich Vila, Shixian Hu, Sergio Andreu-Sánchez, Valerie Collij, Bernadien H Jansen, Hannah E Augustijn, Laura A Bolte, Renate A A A Ruigrok, Galeb Abu-Ali, Cosmas Giallourakis , Jessica Schneider, John Parkinson, Amal Al-Garawi, Alexandra Zhernakova, Ranko Gacesa, Jingyuan Fu, Rinse K Weersma
Gut (March 2023)

Systematic analysis of relationships between plasma branched-chain amino acid concentrations and cardiometabolic parameters: an association and Mendelian randomization study

Marwah Doestzada, Daria V. Zhernakova, Inge C. L. van den Munckhof, Daoming Wang, Alexander Kurilshikov, Lianmin Chen,Vincent W. Bloks, Martijn van Faassen, Joost H. W. Rutten, Leo A. B. Joosten, Mihai G. Netea, Cisca Wijmenga, Niels P. Riksen, Alexandra Zhernakova, Folkert Kuipers, and Jingyuan Fu
BMC Medicine, vol. 20 issue 1

Influence of the microbiome, diet and genetics on inter-individual variation in the human plasma metabolome

Lianmin Chen, Daria V Zhernakova, Alexander Kurilshikov, Sergio Andreu-Sánchez, Daoming Wang, Hannah E Augustijn, Arnau Vich Vila; Lifelines Cohort Study; Rinse K Weersma, Marnix H Medema, Mihai G Netea, Folkert Kuipers, Cisca Wijmenga, Alexandra Zhernakova, Jingyuan Fu
Nature medicine, vol. 28 issue 11

gutSMASH predicts specialized primary metabolic pathways from the human gut microbiota

Victòria Pascal Andreu, Hannah E Augustijn, Lianmin Chen, Alexandra Zhernakova, Jingyuan Fu, Michael A Fischbach, Dylan Dodd, Marnix H Medema
Nature biotechnology (Feb 2023)

Role of the gut microbiome in mediating lactose intolerance symptoms

Brandao Gois MF, Sinha T, Spreckels JE et al.
Gut, vol. 71 issue 1

Environmental factors shaping the gut microbiome in a Dutch population

R. Gacesa, A. Kurilshikov, A. Vich Vila, T. Sinha, M.A.Y. Klaassen L.A. Bolte, S. Andreu-Sánchez, L. Chen, V. Collij, S. Hu, J.A.M. Dekens, V.C. Lenters, J.R. Björk, J.C. Swarte, M.A. Swertz, B.H. Jansen, J. Gelderloos-Arends, S. Jankipersadsing, M. Hofker, R.C.H. Vermeulen, S. Sanna, H.J.M. Harmsen, C. Wijmenga, J. Fu, A. Zhernakova, R.K. Weersma
Nature (2022)

Sasha Zhernakova

Contact information

University Medical Center Groningen
Department of Genetics, CB50
Building 3211; PO Box 30001
9700 RB Groningen
The Netherlands


Areas of Expertise

Bioinformatics Genetics Microbiomics

Decoding the exposome

Decoding the exposome

The environment we live in has a dominant impact on our health. It explains an estimated seventy percent of the chronic disease burden. Where we live, what we eat, how much we exercise, the air we breathe and whom we associate with; all of these environmental factors play a role. The combination of these factors over the life course is called the exposome. There is general (scientific) consensus that understanding more about the exposome will help explain the current burden of disease and that it provides entry points for prevention and ...

Read More