2024 Conference Agenda

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

7:45 AM

Continental Breakfast

8:25 AM

Chairperson's Opening Remarks

Mollie Roth, JD, Chairperson, The Annual Translational Microbiome Conference

8:30 AM

Leveraging AI and the Published Scientific Literature to Understand the Microbiome and Reveal the Relationship to Personalized Health

The research of the microbiome and its connection to human health is fast moving, with 2,000 scientific studies published every month. The scientific literature demonstrates the strong link of the gut microbiome to GI conditions, autoimmune conditions, anxiety, depression, obesity, metabolic disease, oncology, Parkinson's, skin conditions and more. No human can keep up with all the literature to make it applicable and benefit patients in practice. Jona built AI technology that can. Jona provides at-home gut microbiome health testing, a personalized summary report of what is known about an individual's microbiome profile based on the scientific literature, and actionable insights on food, diet, and lifestyle one can take to alleviate symptoms and improve health. In a world where historically gut microbiome testing has had a lack of transparency or scientific rigor, we will discuss how Jona is navigating the noise and commercializing this technology to both the consumer and provider audience.
Jaclyn Kawwas, Head of Business Development, GTM Strategy, Jona

9:00 AM

Inhale, Exhale, Analyze: Exploring Microbiome-associated Metabolites on Breath

OMED Health and Owlstone Medical's Principal Translational Scientist, Dr. Nabeetha Nagalingam, will introduce how breath analysis can be used to gain a deeper understanding of the human microbiome. Breath analysis has many unique advantages that can be useful in microbiome research including easy, non-invasive sampling. Volatile breath metabolites can originate anywhere in the body including the gastrointestinal tract. These can then travel through blood circulation to the lungs where they volatilize and are exhaled. This exhaled breath, carrying microbial signals, can be analyzed to provide insight into microbial activity in locations remote from the lungs. In this presentation, we will explore how breath samples can be used to uncover microbiome activity using case studies as examples.
Nabeetha Nagalingam, Ph.D., Principal Translational Scientist, Owlstone Medical

9:30 AM

Viome's Platform for Aiding Prognosis and Diagnosis of Oral Diseases and Cancer

Viome platform collects biological samples, and using metatranscriptomics (RNA sequencing) measures biological activity of microbial and host human cells. This information is combined with demographic and self-reported clinical data to provide food and supplement recommendations. Here we present how this data allowed us to first identify early biomarkers of periodontal diseases, and other oral and systemic diseases, and provide personalized oral health treatment protocols for oral health professionals to customize their patients' oral care journey. Secondly, we describe how the platform allowed us to build the first saliva-based test for aiding diagnosis for oral and throat cancer, with an unmatched accuracy including early stages of the disease, with a specificity of 95% and a sensitivity of 90%.
Cristina Julian, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Viome

10:00 AM

Chemoprospecting the Human Gut to Discover Functional Microbial Metabolites

Symbiotic microbes and their metabolites are essential for health and play key roles in many immune disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Despite their essential roles, we do not even know most of the metabolites present in our bodies and how those from microbes contribute to IBD. In the Henke lab, we are leveraging comparative metabolomics of IBD clinical cohorts to prioritize chemical space for structural, functional and biosynthetic characterization. Ultimately, these metabolites may reveal fundamental mechanistic insight to the causes of IBD and could reveal therapeutic avenues to treat IBD.
Matt Henke, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Illinois Chicago

10:30 AM

Morning Refreshment Break, Exhibit-Viewing and Poster Session

11:00 AM

Evolution of the Microbiome Following Antimicrobial Prophylaxis for Dental Surgeries

Preliminary data from a longitudinal cohort study examining the disruption and recovery of the gut microbiome of patients taking antibiotics (the REMBRANDT study – REcovery of the MicroBiome fRom ANtibiotics for Dental implanTs) will be presented.
Laurel Redding, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

11:30 AM

Carbon Mirror: Exploring Drug Bacteria Interactions at Scale

The microbiome is often considered as a source of consortia or small molecules. In this presentation Dr. Sharma will explore how the individual’s microbiome interacts with ‘in bound’ pharmaceuticals or Live Biotherapeutics Products.
Nik Sharma, MD, CEO & Co-founder, BioCorteX

12:00 PM


1:00 PM

Multi-level Analysis of the Gut–brain Axis Shows Autism Spectrum Disorder-Associated Molecular and Microbial Profiles

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by heterogeneous cognitive, behavioral and communication impairments. Disruption of the gut–brain axis (GBA) has been implicated in ASD although with limited reproducibility across studies. In this study, we developed a Bayesian differential ranking algorithm to identify ASD-associated molecular and taxa profiles across 10 cross-sectional microbiome datasets and 15 other datasets, including dietary patterns, metabolomics, cytokine profiles and human brain gene expression profiles. We will present our findings and propose a framework to leverage multi-omic datasets from well-defined cohorts and investigate how the GBA influences ASD.
Jamie Morton, Ph.D., Founder, Gutz Analytics

1:30 PM

Cross-feeding Between Mucus Digesting Ruminococcus navus and AIEC, Which are Enriched in Crohn’s Disease

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis, are chronic diseases that affect 3.1 million patients in the USA. The etiologies of IBD are not clear but genetic, immunologic, environmental, and gut microbial factors interact to promote disease onset and recurrence. The mucus layer is the initial barrier that defends the distal intestinal mucosa from bacterial invasion and detrimental inflammatory responses. Ruminococcus gnavus (R. gnavus) is a mucus digesting bacteria, while functionally abnormal adherent-invasive E. coli (AIEC) adhere to and invade epithelial cells and persist within macrophages. Both of these resident bacterial species are increased in active CD patients, with AIEC most frequent in the distal ileum. These two bacteria interact via R. gnavus digestion of mucus releasing mucus components to promote the growth and production of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) by AIEC and H2S enhancing R. gnavus survival in a restricted nutrient environment. Moreover, H2S enhances expression of AIEC and colonic epithelial adhesion molecules and AIEC invasion of cultured colonic epithelial cells. Elucidating the mechanisms underpinning the synergy between AIEC and R. gnavus functions may reveal novel approaches to combat microbial-driven inflammation in CD.
Saori Kashiwagi, MD, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sartor Lab, Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2:00 PM

The Vaginal Microbiome and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes.

The vaginal microbiome has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, but there is much unknown about the interactions underlying these associations. I will share findings from projects in which we studied different aspects of this interaction. In a study of the vaginal metabolome, we found strong associations between vaginal xenobiotics and prematurity, and devised machine learning models that predict the risk for preterm birth weeks to months in advance with good accuracy. In another study, we used fine-scale genetic analyses to investigate how the genetic structure of the population of vaginal microbial species change throughout pregnancy. Our findings reveal a layer of host-microbiome interaction that is largely independent of community composition, marked by changes to microbial sub-species diversity that is related to the fitness of Gardnerella vaginalis, an important vaginal pathobiont. Overall, our studies demonstrate the potential of high resolution multi-omic analyses to illuminate new aspects of host-microbiome interactions during pregnancy.
Tal Korem, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Systems Biology, Columbia University

2:30 PM

End of Conference

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