The INDIGO Project

  • INDIGO is an EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie funded Industry Academia Partnerships & Pathways (IAPP) of 1.2M euros.                                                     
  • It is coordinated by Cardiff University and includes academic partners in Essen and Milan plus SMEs in Italy and Wales.
  • It has collaborators across Europe, many of them members of EUGOGO.
  • INDIGOs main objective is to improve management of Graves’ orbitopathy (GO), a distressing eye condition which affects more than 3 million people in Europe.                                                                                                                                     IMG_0048 (2)

The photo, from left to right                                                                                                                                                                                     Back : Daryn Michael, Giulia Masetti, Simona Palermo, Hedda Kohling, Utta Berchner-Pfannschmidt, Danila Covelli, Iveta Garaiova, Lei Zhang.                                                                                                                                                                                         Front : John Williams, Sue Plummer, Marian Ludgate, Mario Salvi, Anja Eckstein.

Deciphering the Role of the Microbiome in Autoimmune Thyroid & Ocular Disease

Cardiff, UK April 21-22, 2016

INDIGO (Investigation of Novel biomarkers and Definition of the role of the microbiome in Graves Orbitopathy) and EUGOGO (EUropean Group of Graves’ Orbitopathy) are coming together during April 2016 in Cardiff for the first joint symposium of the 2 groups.

The meeting is a rare opportunity to bring together an international panel of speakers from the thyroid autoimmunity and ophthalmology communities in addition to experts on the microbiome to discuss new concepts on the origins of Graves’ disease and orbitopathy.

The meeting has been endorsed by the British Thyroid Association.

Click here to download the programme

How can interactions in your gut affect your thyroid and your eyes?


A healthy gut microbiota promotes a good balance between T cells in the gut keeping autoimmunity & inflammation in check.

Studies both in animal models and in humans with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases have identified a role for the gut microbiota in shaping the immune system. At any one time, the gut associated lymphatic tissue (GALT) contains about 50% of the cells of the immune system. The interaction between gut epithelium, antigen presenting cells such as dendritic cells and the ‘healthy’ gut microbiota produces cytokines and other metabolites which preserve the balance between regulatory T cells (Treg) and proinflammatory Th17 and Th1 cells.

In the case of dysbiosis when the microbiota is suboptimal, the cytokines produced favour generation of pro-inflammatory Th17 cells which may lead to loss of tolerance. In an individual with a particular genetic predisposition the result of dysbiosis could be Graves’ disease and in extreme cases, Graves’ orbitopathy.