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What our microbiomes can (and must) teach us about our health and disease

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

What our microbiomes can (and must) teach us about our health and disease

13 January 2021

12:00 p.m. ET

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Human postnatal development is typically viewed from the perspective of our “human” organs. But perhaps we are missing part of the picture? The symbiotic relationships with the microorganisms that inhabit our gastrointestinal tract and skin can impact our healthy growth, resistance to disease, and response to infection. Evidence is accumulating that a shift in the normal development of the gut microbiome is causally related to childhood undernutrition, a devastating global health problem with long-term effects. Perturbing the microbiota may also impact the development and health of our immune system and its response to both colonization by commensal microbes and attack by pathogens. In this webinar, we’ll explore the increasingly appreciated role of the microbiome in human health and wellness.

During the webinar, our expert speakers will:

  • Outline how a deepening understanding of the microbiome has advanced our appreciation of its role in human development and general health
  • Describe how research into links between the microbiome and childhood undernutrition can inform more effective clinical treatments
  • Explore how the immune response to the gut community impacts the body’s response to pathogenic microbes
  • Answer your questions during the live event.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Jeffrey I. Gordon, M.D.

Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO

Dr. Gordon received his B.A. degree from Oberlin College and his M.D. from the University of Chicago. He completed his clinical training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Biochemistry at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute. In 1981 he joined the faculty of Washington University, where he has spent his entire career, first as a member of the Departments of Medicine and Biological Chemistry, then as head of the Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, and since 2003 as founding director of the university’s interdepartmental, interdisciplinary Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology. He has been the research mentor to 138 Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows since establishing his lab. Members of his lab have developed gnotobiotic animal models as well as new experimental and computational approaches to characterize the assembly, dynamic operations, functional properties, and biological effects of human gut microbial communities. They have combined these models with human studies involving twins and members of birth cohorts living in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. His group is focused on addressing the global health challenges of obesity and childhood undernutrition through new understanding of the interactions between diets and the gut microbiome and through new ways of promoting healthy development of the gut microbial community during the first several years of postnatal life.

Oliver Harrison, Ph.D.

Benaroya Research Institute
Seattle, WA

Dr. Harrison received an undergraduate degree from the University of Bath and a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford, both in the United Kingdom. After completing his postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, he established his laboratory in the Center for Fundamental Immunology at Benaroya Research Institute in 2019. His research investigates how T and B cell responses to commensal microbes promote barrier tissue integrity and repair, and how this goes awry in disease.

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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