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A Systems Approach to the Modern Microbiome World: Investigating Host-Microbiota Symbiosis

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

A Systems Approach to the Modern Microbiome World: Investigating Host-Microbiota Symbiosis

Recorded 24 September 2014



Microorganisms living in or on the body of a healthy human adult outnumber human cells by 10 to one. A large number of the 100 trillion microbes that compose the majority of life on Earth have coevolved a close relationship with the mammalian immune system. Therefore, by solely limiting research to either the host or bacteria, only half of the information required in microbiome studies is being seen. The symbiotic relationship of the host and resident microbiota must remain in delicate harmony to maintain a healthy body. Disruption of the microbial community can lead to an imbalance in homeostasis of the immune cells including Th17, T regulatory, and innate lymphoid cells, which can influence susceptibility of the host to a variety of health disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and ulcerative colitis, among others. As the number of microbiome studies grow, it is becoming increasingly clear that the host and microbiota do not operate alone. To understand the complete story, the interaction between the host and bacterial systems needs to be considered through a more holistic, systematic approach. This webinar will discuss just such an approach, examining the problem from the perspective of both the host and microbiome.

During the webinar, viewers will:
• Learn about important ways in which the host and microbiome interact
• Hear how the human skin microbiota influences host physiology and immunity
• Be introduced to the complex interactions between gut microbes and human health
• Have an opportunity to put questions to the panel, live!

Speaker bios

Oleg Paliy, Ph.D.

Wright State University
Dayton, OH

Dr. Paliy is an associate professor in the Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University in Ohio, where he studies the roles of human intestinal microbiota in host health and disease. Dr. Paliy obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, and received his postdoctoral training in microbiology and systems biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Paliy’s research utilizes novel molecular techniques including phylogenetic microarrays and next generation sequencing, which are combined with biocomputational modeling of microbial interactions and metabolic capacities. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and industrial partners, and he serves as grant reviewer for NIH, NASA, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UK).

Yasmine Belkaid, Ph.D.

National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD

Dr. Belkaid obtained her Ph.D. in 1996 from the Pasteur Institute in France. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland on immune regulation during parasitic infection, she joined the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation in Cincinnati, Ohio as an assistant professor in 2002. In 2005, she joined the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases as a tenure-track investigator. Since 2008, she has worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Belkaid is currently the chief of the mucosal immunology section at NIAID where her research focuses on the factors controlling immune responses to pathogens. Her work has defined fundamental mechanisms that regulate host immune responses to pathogens at mucosal and skin sites and revealed key roles for commensal microbiota and dietary factors in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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