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Your microbiota and you: Exploring the host–microbiome relationship in health and disease

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

Your microbiota and you: Exploring the host–microbiome relationship in health and disease

01 July 2020

12:00 p.m. ET

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It is now widely accepted that the microbes that live in and on humans—our microbiome—are not just passive passengers but play an active role in our health and wellness. The presence, absence, or relative abundance of different microbe species has been linked to a broad array of ailments, including inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, and possibly even neurodegenerative diseases. The gut microflora has been particularly well researched and there is strong evidence that dysbiosis—an imbalance in the abundance of the many intestinal bacterial species—can lead to serious health issues. This webinar will explore approaches to identifying causal roles for the microbiome in human health and disease, as well as investigating current technologies that can illuminate novel mechanisms of host–microbiome interaction. Additionally, we will learn about the use of immunoglobulin A (IgA) as a candidate drug for treating dysbiosis and thereby positively impacting human disease.

During this webinar, the speakers will:

  • Outline the pathways by which the gut microbiome can affect health and disease
  • Discuss the latest technologies and techniques for unraveling the host–microbiome relationship
  • Provide insight into the role of IgA in maintaining intestinal homeostasis and its potential as a therapeutic agent
  • Answer your questions live during the broadcast.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

You might also enjoy these related webinars: 6 May 2020 and 3 June 2020

Speaker bios

Reiko Shinkura, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

Since 2018, Dr. Shinkura has been a professor at the Institute for Quantitative Biosciences at the University of Tokyo in Japan. She graduated from Kyoto University in 1986, initially as a doctor of medicine, and worked there as an anesthesiologist for 6 years. Then she entered the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, where she obtained her doctorate in 1997 and completed postgraduate studies in 1999 under Tasuku Honjo, studying the immune function of alymphoplasia mutant mice and identifying the genetic mutation responsible for this condition. She continued her research as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research associate with Frederick W. Alt’s group at Harvard Medical School in Boston, where she investigated the importance of switch region sequences in class-switch recombination of immunoglobulin genes. In 2003, she rejoined Honjo’s group as assistant and then associate professor, focusing on activation-induced cytidine deaminase. In 2010, she established her own laboratory at the Nagahama Institute of Bio-Science and Technology before moving to the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, where she investigated intestinal immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies and their interaction with the gut microbiota. Dr. Shinkura then moved to her current position at the University of Tokyo, where she performs translational research aimed at developing IgA-based drugs as gut microbial regulators and IgA-targeting chemical compounds that have anti-allergic effects.


Noah Palm, Ph.D.

Yale School of Medicine
New Haven, CT

Dr. Palm is an assistant professor of immunobiology at the Yale University School of Medicine, where his lab focuses on understanding how the trillions of microbes that live in and on us (our microbiota) interact with and influence their mammalian hosts. His work particularly emphasizes the development of new technologies to deconvolute complex host–microbiota interactions and reveal causal roles for the microbiota in human health and disease. He received his B.A. in biology from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota and performed his doctoral work with Ruslan Medzhitov and postdoctoral training with Richard Flavell, both at Yale University. He is the recipient of multiple honors and awards, including the Smith Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, the Pew Biomedical Scholar Award, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award.


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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