Microbial determinants of biochemical individuality and their impact on toxicology and pharmacology

Cell Metab. 2014 Nov 4;20(5):761-768. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.07.002. Epub 2014 Aug 21.


Humans exhibit remarkable interindividual variations in the concentration of small molecules found throughout the body, due in part to concurrent variations in each person's associated microbial communities. Recent studies have begun to uncover how microbes interface with their host during exposure to drugs, dietary compounds, and environmental toxicants, with broader implications regarding the causes and consequences of biochemical individuality. Progress in this area will likely be an essential component of personalized medicine and might be accelerated through the implementation of experimental designs and theoretical principles honed through decades of work in the fields of toxicology and pharmacology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology
  • Xenobiotics / metabolism*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Xenobiotics