Microbiome; Sequencing;

4E - Beyond Bacteria: What Constitutes the Microbiome & How to Manipulate It
CME (AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™) 1.5; CEU (NSGC Category 1) 0.15; Attendance CEU 1.5

Tuesday, October 10
1:20 PM - 2:50 PM

Our body is home to trillions of microorganisms which play an important role in our health. The advent of next generation sequencing and rapid decline in cost has enabled us to study the relevance of these microorganisms in human health without the need to grow them in the laboratory. In this session, we will focus on the communities of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi and viruses, their relevance in health and disease and ways to manipulate them to improve health and prevent and treat disease.

Learning Objectives:

Purna Kashyap

Assistant Professor of Medicine, College of Medicine
Mayo Clinic

Purna Kashyap, PhD's, research program aims to better understand the pathogenesis of functional gastrointestinal disorders and develop newer treatment options for patients. The current understanding of the disease process remains poor, and as a result treatment options are very limited and fail to address the underlying causes. They also hope to extend this knowledge to address other diseases associated with changes in human gut bacteria such as C. difficile colitis and obesity. The human gastrointestinal (GI) tract harbors 100 trillion microbes that live in harmony with their human host and perform processes vital for health. Changes in the normal gut microbiota have been associated with a number of disease states with changes in gastrointestinal (GI) motility, such as irritable bowel syndrome and Clostridium difficile colitis. The Kashyap laboratorys primarily focuses on the influence of gut bacteria on gastrointestinal physiology by modulating host pathways such as the serotonergic system. They use targeted and non-targeted metabolomics, transcriptomics, and genomics in combination with gnotobiotic mouse modelsto help identify novel bacterial taxa and microbial metabolites which affect the key players involved in gastrointestinal motility, secretion and sensation. In order to better understand the role of human derived gut microbes they use the humanized mouse model where colonize germ free mice with human derived bacteria to allow us to more effectively translate our findings and develop targeted therapies for humans. They have recently described the role of gut microbiota derived short chain fatty acids in increasing serotonin biosynthesis and release using these methods. The long-term goal of our research is to develop new biomarkers and microbiota-targeted therapies for treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome. Furthermore the Kashyap lab is interested in engineering commensal gut bacteria to produce a metabolite of interest, which will help overcome deficiencies in the current approach of probiotics.


Send Email for Purna Kashyap

June Round

Associate Professor
University of Utah

June L. Round, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine in the Department of Pathology, Division of Microbiology and Immunology. Her lab looks at the interaction between the immune system and commensal microbes and its influence on autoimmune diseases. The laboratory is funded by an NIH new innovator award, NSF Career grant, Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, Pew Foundation, Burrough's Wellcome, American Asthma Foundation, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation and the MS society.


Send Email for June Round

Scott A. Handley

Assistant Professor
Washington University

Scott A. Handley, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in the Department of Pathology and Immunology. Dr. Handley received his bachelor degree from Missouri state University and then obtained his PhD from Washington University, St. Louis. For the past 15 years, Dr. Handley has been involved in projects devoted to the advanced understanding of how microbial communities and invasive pathogens impact human health. He views microorganisms and microbial communities can contribute to disease comes in two forms. The first is more traditional in which the introduction of an invasive organism (pathogen) negatively impacts either the host or the other members of the microbial community. The second form is when an imbalance in the community itself leads to disease (dysbiosis). Dr. Handley’s overall research goal is to better classify and test how alterations in community membership and function contribute to disease. To do this, Dr. Handley utilizes high-throughput sequencing technologies, computational tools and ecological theory. Most of this research occurs in the mammalian gastrointestinal tract, however, lessons learned should be broadly applicable to studies at other sites.


Send Email for Scott Handley

H. Rex Gaskins

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

H. Rex Gaskins, PhD, joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1992 and is a professor with appointments in the Departments of Animal Sciences and Pathobiology, the Division of Nutritional Sciences and the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. He obtained the Ph.D. degree in cell biology from The University of Georgia in 1989. From 1989-92, he completed postdoctoral studies in immunology and genetics at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Research in his laboratory focuses on host-intestinal microbe interactions relevant to colorectal cancer with a particular interest in microbial sulfur and hydrogen metabolism. Efforts to understand colonic mucosal responses to hydrogen sulfide led to further interest in redox regulation of tumorigenesis resulting in a long-time collaboration with bioengineering faculty at Illinois to create genetically-encoded biosensors and engineered platforms for the study of redox poise in subcellular compartments in live cells.
Professor Gaskins has authored 156 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and has won numerous awards including a Future Leaders Award from the International Life Sciences Institute, the Bio-Serv Award from the American Society of Nutrition, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund visiting scientist fellowship (University of Reading), and a Sir Frederick McMaster CSIRO Research Fellowship (Unversity of Queensland). From 1999-2002, he was named a University Scholar at Illinois, received in 2012 the Paul A. Funk Award from Illinois, and in 2016 received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Professor Gaskins serves as Deputy Director of the NIH-supported Tissue Microenvironment Training Program and chairs the Steering Committee of the Cancer Center at Illinois.


Send Email for H. Rex Gaskins


4E - Beyond Bacteria: What Constitutes the Microbiome & How to Manipulate It
CME (AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™) 1.5; CEU (NSGC Category 1) 0.15; Attendance CEU 1.5

Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Beyond Bacteria: What Constitutes the Microbiome & How to Manipulate It
CME (AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™) 1.5; CEU (NSGC Category 1) 0.15; Attendance CEU 1.5