2018 Speakers

Premysl Bercik, MD
Associate Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Director of the Clinical Motility laboratory

“Microbiota-gut-brain axis: from gut dysfunction to anxiety and depression”

Dr. Bercik obtained an MD degree from Charles University, Prague, Czechoslovakia. He then pursued post-graduate doctoral studies at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where he investigated neural control of gastrointestinal motility. He trained as a postdoctoral research and clinical fellow at McMaster University under the supervision of Prof. Stephen Collins focusing on animal models of functional gastrointestinal diseases. Currently, he is Associate Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Director of the Clinical Motility laboratory and member of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster University, Canada. His clinical interest lies in functional bowel disorders, intestinal dysmotility, gastroparesis and celiac disease. His basic research focuses on the role of intestinal bacteria in gut-brain axis in the context of gut function, low-grade inflammation and behavior, including anxiety and depression. http://farncombe.mcmaster.ca/

Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 Reduces Depression Scores and Alters Brain Activity: A Pilot Study in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Pinto-Sanchez MI, Hall GB, Ghajar K, Nardelli A, Bolino C, Lau JT, Martin FP, Cominetti O, Welsh C, Rieder A, Traynor J, Gregory C, De Palma G, Pigrau M, Ford AC, Macri J, Berger B, Bergonzelli G, Surette MG, Collins SM, Moayyedi P, Bercik P. Gastroenterology. 2017 Aug;153(2):448-459.e8. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.05.003. Epub 2017 May 5.

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Lisa A. Brenner PhD ABPP

Director, VA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)

Growing literature but limited evidence: A systematic review regarding prebiotic and probiotic interventions for those with traumatic brain injury and/or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Brenner is a Board Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist, and a Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at the University of Colorado, Anschutz School of Medicine, and the Director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 19 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). She is the Research Director for the Department of PM&R. Dr. Brenner is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division 22, Rehabilitation Psychology. Her primary area of research interest is traumatic brain injury, co-morbid psychiatric disorders, and negative psychiatric outcomes including suicide. She serves as the Research Division Director for the American Association of Suicidology, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Dr. Brenner has numerous peer-reviewed publications, participates on national advisory boards, and is currently co-authoring a book regarding neurodisability and suicide.

Examples of grant funded projects include: A Brief Intervention to Reduce Suicide Risk in Military Members and Veterans (U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Military Operational Medicine Research Program), Window to Hope: Evaluating a Psychology Treatment for Hopelessness Among Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (Military Suicide Research Consortium), and Health and Wellness Intervention for Individuals with TBI (National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research).

Stewart Campbell, PhD
Vice President, Early Stage Development
Axial Biotherapeutics

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“Microbe-Inspired Therapies to Treat Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Related Co-Morbidities”

Dr. Campbell brings more than 22 years of drug discovery and development experience to the team, with an emphasis on CMC and manufacturing.  He has built and led R&D teams involved in a variety of environments from early stage research through to advanced clinical development in small start-ups to mid-sized companies.   Prior to joining Axial, Dr. Campbell held various leadership roles at biopharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing companies including Corden Pharma, Surface Logix and Insmed Inc. At Corden Pharma, Dr. Campbell served as Head of Product Management and Business Development for Carbohydrates and Lipids and as Head of Operations for Corden Pharma’s Woburn, MA manufacturing site.  Prior to Corden Pharma Dr. Campbell served as Vice President of R&D at Ancora Pharmaceuticals, successfully triaging the company through the acquisition and integration process by Corden Pharma. While at Surface Logix and Insmed, Dr. Campbell played an integral role in the discovery and development of five clinical stage drug candidates, including small molecules and biotherapeutics.

He holds a BSc with Honours in Chemistry from St. Francis Xavier University, a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Queen’s University, and did post-doctoral research in natural product synthesis at Duke University. He has consulted for several start-up companies in multiple technology and therapeutic areas in the Greater Boston area and is co-inventor on 15 issued patents.

Martha Carlin
Co-founder and CEO
Pure Cultures LLC / The Biocollective

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Martha Carlin is Co-founder and CEO of The Biocollective, a company that offers members the opportunity to participate in scientific discovery by providing microbiome samples for researchers. With consent, every sample is divided and sold to academic and commercial microbiome researchers. Phase I of the business is sample collection, preservation and building a base of research customers. Phase II offerings will include the opportunity for members to store a sample while they are healthy for potential use in the restoration of microbial balance in the future. Members will share in the revenues generated from the sale of their samples and ultimately in shared discoveries from their research customer base.

The BioCollective, links personal health history, metagenomics and microbiome analysis to uncover previously unknown links between chronic disease and diet, stress, and environment.

She is an entrepreneur and innovative systems thinker with a unique ability to connect dots to solve problems in new ways. She has been driven to solve the rise in complex disease through a systems approach, with the microbiome as the tool for connecting the dots, especially in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases.

She is also an investor and advisor for Pure Cultures LLC, a contract manufacturer of probiotic cultures for the human and animal sectors. Pure Cultures products are tailored to meet their client’s needs. They offer single and multiple strain blends. In addition, they are a custom fermentation company offering a varying size of reactors to produce client’s proprietary probiotic strains.

http://purecultures.com/
http://www.thebiocollective.com/

Silke Cresswell, MD
Associate Professor in Medicine/Neurology
University of British Columbia (UBC)

“The many talents of microbes and their implications for clinical research in Parkinson’s disease”

Dr. Cresswell is a movement disorder specialist who works at the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre (PPRC). She is Associate Professor in Medicine/Neurology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) working as a clinician scientist at PPRC, as well as an active staff member at Vancouver General Hospital. She is also a member of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. The micro-organisms that are present in our gut are providing researchers who study Parkinson’s disease with a new frontier for investigation. At the University of British Columbia, Dr. Silke Appel-Cresswell is examining the role that fungi in the gut may play in influencing Parkinson’s disease. If she can demonstrate a connection between particular fungi and symptoms of Parkinson’s, her work could potentially open an avenue for early treatment involving antibiotic-like medications or probiotics.

John F. Cryan, PhD
Professor & Chair, Dept. of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork, Ireland

The Microbiome: A Key Regulator of Neurodevelopment & Behaviour

Dr. Cryan is Professor & Chair, Dept. of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork and serves on the University’s Governing Body.  He is also a Principal Investigator in the APC Microbiome Institute. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. He was a visiting fellow at the Dept Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia, which was followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA and The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California. He spent four years at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel Switzerland, as a LabHead, Behavioural Pharmacology prior to joining UCC in 2005. Prof. Cryan’s current research is focused on understanding the interaction between brain, gut & microbiome and how it applies to stress, psychiatric and immune-related disorders at key time-windows across the lifespan. Prof. Cryan has published over 340 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has a H-index of 73. He is a Senior Editor of Neuropharmacology and of Nutritional Neuroscience. He is on the editorial board of a further 15 journals. He has edited three books including “Microbial Endocrinology: The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis in Health and Disease” (Springer Press, 2014). He has received numerous awards including UCC Researcher of the Year in 2012; the University of Utrecht Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research in 2013 and being named on the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher list in 2014. He was a TEDMED speaker in Washington in 2014 and is President-elect of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society.

Prof. Cryan’s current research interests include the neurobiological basis of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety and drug dependence. Moreover, his group is also focused on understanding the interaction between brain, gut & microbiome and how it applies to stress and immune-related disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome and obesity and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. He is also interested in applying novel approaches to facilitate drug/siRNA delivery to the brain in vivo.

Melanie Gareau, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology
University of California Davis

“Microbes and Memories – How the microbiota can impact cognitive function”

Dr. Gareau studied physiology at McMaster University where she obtained her PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Mary Perdue assessing the impacts of early life stress on gastrointestinal physiology. She then completed post-doctoral studies at the Hospital for Sick Children with Dr. Philip Sherman focused on the microbiota-gut-brain axis following infection with a bacterial pathogen. Dr. Gareau then did additional training with Dr. Kim Barrett at UC San Diego, prior to starting her own group at UC Davis in 2014. Dr. Gareau’s laboratory is primarily interested in studying the microbiota-gut-brain axis and how intestinal dysbiosis can detrimentally impact behavior, particularly cognitive function. By using mouse models of infection with enteric bacterial pathogens or administration of beneficial probiotic bacteria, her group has shown that this can impact cognitive function, and regulate anxiety-like behavior. In addition, her laboratory has a particular interest in how the microbiota-gut-brain axis responds to stimulation with psychological stressors and under conditions of intestinal inflammation, such as in models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These studies are funded by the NIH and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

madelynMadelyn Crawford Houser
PhD Candidate

The gut-brain axis: is intestinal inflammation a silent driver of Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis?

Madelyn Crawford Houser, a native of Knoxville, TN, is a Ph.D. student in Emory’s Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis program. She earned her B.S. from The University of Tennessee where she conducted structure/function studies of G protein-coupled receptors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and transcriptomic analyses of the agricultural fungal pathogen Fusarium graminearum. She joined the Tansey lab in 2014, and her graduate work has focused on various aspects of intestinal immunity. When she is not in the lab, Madelyn enjoys reading, cooking, ballroom dancing, and spending time with her family.

The general interests of my laboratory include investigating the role and regulation of neuroinflammatory and immune system responses in modulating the gene-environment interactions that determine risk for development and progression of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disease.

We employ molecular, cellular, biochemical, pharmacological, immunohistological, fixed and live-cell high-content imaging, and behavioral assays to address important mechanistic questions with the long-term goal of developing novel therapeutics for the prevention and/or treatment of chronic neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases characterized by chronic neuroinflammation.

Brian KleinBrian Klein, PhD
Senior Scientist
Vedanta Biosciences
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“At Vedanta we rationally design medicines based on consortia of human commensal bacteria to treat disease, using insights from microbial ecology, mucosal immunology, and human interventional studies. Our platform enables identification of defined bacterial consortia with drug-like properties and their manufacture to GMP standards.”

Dr. Klein is a Staff Scientist and Microbiology Platform Lead at Vedanta Biosciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At Vedanta, Brian leads the isolation and characterization of microbial strains from healthy donors which become part of our industry-leading Culture Collection, as well as downstream high-throughput screening of the Culture Collection.

Brian obtained a B.S. in Biology from Bates College (USA), a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology from Tufts University School of Medicine (USA), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Forsyth Institute/Harvard School of Dental Medicine (USA). During his Ph.D. (funded by an NIDCR F31 NRSA grant), Brian focused on mutagenesis and screening of mutant libraries of Porphyromonas gingivalis, a causative agent of periodontal disease in humans. This work culminated in defining the putative essential genes of the species, identifying novel species-specific mobile elements, and elucidating the genetic regions underpinning colony pigmentation in the species. During his postdoctoral fellowship (funded by an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation postdoctoral grant), Brian initiated a study of the nasal and salivary microbiomes of athletes, as well as the microbiome of indoor athletic facilities. This work allowed Brian to develop a study involving human subject sampling from scratch and physically be involved in every step of the process; from grant application to sampling execution, sample processing and data analysis.

Derrick MacFabe, MD
Assistant Professor and Director of the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group, Depts. of Psychology (Neuroscience) & Psychiatry (Division of Developmental Disabilities)

Lawson Research Insitute at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario

“Enteric Short Chain Fatty Acids: Microbial Messengers of Metabolism, Mitochondria and Mind: Implications in Autism Spectrum Disorders”

Dr. MacFabe is Assistant Professor and Director of the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group, Depts. of Psychology (Neuroscience) & Psychiatry (Division of Developmental Disabilities), Lawson Research Insitute at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. He is also a faculty member at Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada- Medicine). As the principal investigator of the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group, he is examining the role of genetics, biochemistry and environment on the identification and possible treatments of autism spectrum disorders. Dr. MacFabe’s research concerning potential gastrointestinal links in autism has been listed among the “Top 50 Scientific Discoveries in Canada” by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and was recently shown on the “Autism Enigma” (Nature of Things- CBC). Gut Bacterial Metabolites as Possible Environmental Triggers of Autism Spectrum Disorder – From Animal Models to Human Populations Clinical observations suggest that gut and dietary factors, transiently worsen, and in some cases appear to improve, symptoms in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Recent evidence suggests ASD as a family of systemic disorders of altered immunity, metabolism and gene expression. Pre- or peri-natal infection is emerging as a major risk factor for ASD. Can a common environmental agent link these disparate findings? This lecture outlines basic science and clinical evidence that short chain fatty acids, present in diet and produced by opportunistic gut bacteria following carbohydrate ingestion, may be key triggers in ASD. Dr. MacFabe presents his current research examining propionic acid, a major fermentation product associated with ASD associated gastrointestinal bacteria, and its ability to produce reversible behavioral, electrographic, neuroinflammatory, metabolic and epigenetic changes closely resembling those found in ASDs. It discusses the hypothesis that ASDs are produced by pre- or post-natal antibiotic resistant bacterial infections in sensitive sub populations, which may have major implications in ASD cause, diagnosis and treatment. YouTube feature on Dr. MacFabe here.

Emeran A. Mayer, MD emeran-meyer-md-phd--ncx42qo39v0y4ze626eyf7j9fy2j30oo7dgj9rz3xq (1)
Director, G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and ResilienceDivision of Digestive Diseases
David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Role of the Brain-Gut Microbiome Axis in Obesity

Dr. Mayer is a Gastroenterologist, Neuroscientist and Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  He is the Executive Director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress & Resilience, co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at UCLA, and member of the steering committee of the UCLA Microbiome Center. As one of the pioneers and leading researchers in the role of mind-brain-gut interactions in health and chronic disease, he has made major scientific contributions to the area of basic and translational enteric neurobiology with wide-ranging applications in clinical GI diseases and disorders. He has published more than 300 scientific papers (h-factor 100), and co-edited 3 books.  He is the recipient of the 2016 Paul D McLean award from the American Psychosomatic Society and the Distinguished Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterological Association.  In addition to his ongoing research in chronic visceral pain and irritable bowel syndrome, his work has expanded into other areas of brain gut microbiome interactions, including the role of the gut microbiota brain interactions in inflammatory bowel disorders, food addiction in obesity, autism spectrum disorders.

Dr. Mayer has been interviewed on National Public Radio, PBS and by many national and international media outlets including the Los AngelesTimes, Atlantic magazine, Time and Newsweek Magazine and National Geographic Explorer. He has spoken at UCLA TEDx on the Mysterious Origins of Gut Feelings in 2015, and his book The Mind Gut Connection has been published by Harper&Collins in July of 2016 and has been translated into more than 10 languages.

Amy Pooler, PhD
Brain Health Specialist, Nestlé Research Center

 

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Amy Pooler is a Brain Health Specialist at the Nestlé Research Center, located in Lausanne, Switzerland. Dr Pooler has been with Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences since July 2014. The Research Center is part of Nestlé’s extensive R&D network, and plays a lead role in breaking new scientific ground in the field of personalized science-based nutrition for the maintenance of health and prevention of chronic disease.

Dr. Pooler has more than 15 years of experience in the field of brain research.  Before joining Nestlé, she was a Lecturer and Alzheimer’s Research UK Fellow at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, USA) and King’s College London (UK), where she lead research focused on mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.

Prior to that role, she completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Oxford (MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit) and King’s College London (Institute of Psychiatry).  Her work at these institutions involved investigation into neurodegenerative disease and psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Pooler graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA, USA) with a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience; her findings led to a novel nutritional approach for treatment of cognitive decline.  Prior to her time at MIT, she graduated from Brown University (Providence, RI, USA) with a BSc in Neuroscience.

Matthew Sacheli
Research Programs Specialist

Matt Sacheli is a Research Program Specialist at the Weston Brain Institute. Matt’s PhD work at the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Center (PPRC) and the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, University of British Columbia involved the therapeutic mechanisms of exercise in Parkinson’s disease using PET and fMRI neuroimaging. Matt is also a certified exercise physiologist (CSEP-CEP).

Filip Scheperjans, MD, PhD
Neurologist
Helsinki University Central Hospital

The Microbiome in Parkinson’s Disease: Role as a Potential Biomarker and Relation to Disease Progression

Dr. Scheperjans is a Neurologist at Helsinki University Central Hospital. Dr. Scheperjans, MD, PhD, studied medicine at the University of Düsseldorf (Germany) and gained international experience as a visiting student in London, New York and Helsinki. He did his doctoral thesis about histological and neurochemical anatomy of the human brain in the laboratory of Prof. Karl Zilles. After graduation in 2006 Dr. Scheperjans continued his research at the Institute of Medicine at the Research Center Jülich and his thesis was awarded best thesis of the medical faculty in 2008. After moving to Finland, he started his training in neurology at Helsinki University Central Hospital. During this period Dr. Scheperjans completed a clinical research fellowship to develop his expertise in conducting clinical studies and trials. His main interests in neurological research are movement disorders and acute neurology including stroke, status epilepticus and neuroimaging. In 2013 Dr. Scheperjans received a degree as specialist in neurology. Currently he is continuing research on the involvement of microbiota in PD. In a ground-breaking study, funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Dr. Scheperjans showed that the intestinal microbiome is altered in PD and is related to motor phenotype.

Sangram S. Sisodia, PhD
Thomas Reynolds Sr. Family Professor of Neurosciences and Director, Center For Molecular Neurobiology
Department Of Neurobiology at The University of Chicago

“Modulation of Amyloid Deposition and Neuroinflammation By the Microbiome”

Dr. Sisodia’s laboratory has been to develop and characterize transgenic animals that express FAD-linked variants of PS1 and APP to clarify the underlying biochemical and pathophysiological alterations that cause AD. His group has exploited these animals, as well as animals in which they have conditionally inactivated PS, to clarify issues relevant to axonal trafficking of membrane proteins, neurodegeneration, neuronal vulnerability, gene expression and APP/Ab metabolism. A significant effort is focused on understanding the cell non-autonomous effects of FAD-linked mutant PS1 expression on hippocampal neurogenesis. In future studies, they will focus heavily on the mechanisms that are responsible for the observed effects using temporal and system-specific conditional gene inactivation approaches. Extending their demonstration that enriched environments and exercise modulates Abeta metabolism and deposition in vivo, their ongoing efforts are focused on the role of polypeptides encoded by genes that are selectively regulated in these settings. Most recently, they have been exploring the impact of the microbiome in modulation of amyloid deposition in mouse models of AD, with two recent publications in this area.

Antibiotic-induced perturbations in microbial diversity during post-natal development alters amyloid pathology in an aged APPSWE/PS1ΔE9 murine model of Alzheimer’s disease. Minter MR, Hinterleitner R, Meisel M, Zhang C, Leone V, Zhang X, Oyler-Castrillo P, Zhang X, Musch MW, Shen X, Jabri B, Chang EB, Tanzi RE, Sisodia SS. Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 5;7(1):10411

Antibiotic-induced perturbations in gut microbial diversity influences neuro-inflammation and amyloidosis in a murine model of Alzheimer’s disease. Minter MR, Zhang C, Leone V, Ringus DL, Zhang X, Oyler-Castrillo P, Musch MW, Liao F, Ward JF, Holtzman DM, Chang EB, Tanzi RE, Sisodia SS. Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 21;6:30028.

philipstrandwitzPhilip Strandwitz, PhD
CEO, Holobiome
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“Modulation of neurotransmitters and neurotransmission by the gut microbiota”

Dr. Strandwitz is a specialist in the microbiome, with a focus on the gut-brain-axis. Philip received his PhD in Biology under the guidance of Dr. Kim Lewis at Northeastern University, where he focused on cultivating unique bacteria from the human gut microbiota. Here, he discovered the first reported bacterium that required the neurotransmitter γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) for growth. Taking advantage of this unique lifestyle, he utilized this discovery to rapidly identify and culture a panel of GABA-producing bacteria from the human gut microbiota, dramatically expanding existing knowledge on the GABA-modulatory potential of bacteria living in the human intestines. Since then he has assembled a broad range of clinical and academic collaborators to further profile the link between the human microbiome and the gut-brain-axis. Philip has presented at numerous conferences, including those held by the New York Academy of Science, Keystone Symposia, and the American Society of Microbiology. He is now CEO as Holobiome, a company he co-founded to translate microbiome science into novel therapeutics to treat diseases of the central and enteric nervous systems. Holobiome announced an early stage research collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. and Janssen Research & Development, LLC in early 2018, is currently sponsored by Amgen for wet lab space at LabCentral in Cambridge, MA

Jun Sun, PhD
Professor
University of Illinois, Chicago

“A Gut Feeling in ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)”

Dr. Jun Sun is a tenured Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), U.S.A.. She is an elected fellow of American Gastroenterological Associate. Her research interests are host-microbiome interactions in inflammation and cancer. Her key achievements include: 1) characterization of vitamin D receptor regulation of gut microbiome in intestinal homeostasis and inflammation, 2) identification of dysbiosis and intestinal dysfunction in ALS, 3) characterization of bacteria in regulating intestinal stem cells, and 4) identification and characterization of the Salmonella effector protein AvrA in host-bacterial interactions. Dr. Sun has published over 150 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, including GutCell Stem CellsNature Genetics, JBCAmerican Journal of PathologyAmerican Journal of Physiology-GI.  She is the leading editor of three books, including a recent Nature/Spring book entitled “Mechanisms underlying host-microbiome interactions in pathophysiology of human diseases.”  This book has shown a novel theme and multiple disciplinary topics of microbiome research for a broad audience. She is on the editorial board of more than 10 peer-reviewed international scientific journals. She services study sections for the NIH, American Cancer Society, and other national and international research foundations. Her research is supported by the NIH, DOD, and other research awards.

Dr. Sun is a believer of scientific art and artistic science. She enjoys writing her science papers in English and poems in Chinese. She teaches her medical fellows biomedical knowledge and also the way to translate the Chinese poems. In addition to her research papers and books, her poetry collection《让时间停留在这一刻》“Let time stay still at this moment”, was published in January 2018 by the Chinese Literature and History Press.

Patrick_VeigaPatrick Viega, PhD
Head of the Microbes & Foods for Health Science Group
Danone Nutricia

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Dr. Veiga received his PhD from the Université of Orsay – Paris XI in 2007. He joined Danone Nutricia Research in 2008 with the mission to investigate the interplay between probiotics and gut microbiota, an emerging field at that time. Among other collaborators, he specifically worked with the Laboratories of D. Ehrlich and J. Doré (Institut National de le Recherche Agronomique, France). In 2011, he was assigned as a visiting scientist to the Laboratory of the Prof. W. Garrett (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA) where he spent 3 years identifying “probiotic effectors” able to modulate the immune system in a context of intestinal inflammation. In 2014, he took the position of Gut Microbiota Research Axis co-leader within the Life Science (LS) Dept of Danone Nutricia Research (Palaiseau, France). Recently (2017), he was appointed Head of the “Microbes & Foods for Health” science group.