The Wonderland of Our Genomes


Jingyuan Fu
University of Groningen


Genomic medicine is the branch of modern medicine that uses genetic and genomic information to develop personalized strategies for patient care, disease prevention, and treatment. It involves the study of an individual's genetic information to understand the underlying causes of disease and to develop personalized healthcare interventions. Surprisingly, the genetic information that determines an individual’s risk of diseases comes not only from the human genome but also from the gut microbiome, which is the collective genomes of the microorganisms residing in the human gut.

The release of the complete sequence of the human genome in 2003 and the completion of the first phase of the human gut microbiome project in 2013 opened up a new horizon for human genomics research. Just as in Alice’s Wonderland, this led to many amazing discoveries, but there are still many unknowns. This lecture shares my vision of which ways we ought to go to improve our understanding of host–microbe interactions in human health and disease.

Design: LINE UP boek en media bv | Riëtte van Zwol
Cover illustration: Jingyuan Fu
Photo author: Jingyuan Fu
Illustrations: Jingyuan Fu, Vivian Yang, Carlos Martinez Moreno,
Isabel Tamargo-Rubio
Editing: Kate Mc Intyre

Published by University of Groningen Press
Broerstraat 4
9712 CP Groningen

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Author Biography

Jingyuan Fu, University of Groningen

Jingyuan Fu is Professor of Systems Medicine at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). Her research aims to gain a better understanding of the interactions between the human genome and the  gut microbiome in human health and disease in order to develop better ways to predict, prevent and  treat diseases. To do so, her research employs large-scale genetics and genomics analysis of large  numbers of people and functional understanding of the gut–liver axis in human metabolism developed  using innovative technologies such as bacterial culturomics and organ-on-a-chip.

Fu studied Bioinformatics at the University of Groningen, where she obtained her Ph.D. with honours (cum laude) in 2007. She then joined the UMCG, where she started her own independent research group. Fu has received numerous prestigious grants, including NWO Veni, Vidi and Vici awards and an ERC-Consolidator award.

Fu has been a ‘Highly Cited Researcher’ on Web of Science since 2020. She received the AMMODO Science Award in 2023 for her outstanding contributions to research on the gut microbiome.

Cover page inaugural lecture university of Groningen Jingyuan Fu



April 21, 2023


Inaugural Lecture, Inaugurale rede, Oratie, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, University of Groningen, Jinguyan Fu, Faculteit Medische Wetenschappen, Faculty of Medical Sciences