Speaker Bios

Chairs

W. Allan Walker, MD W. Allan Walker, M.D. – Chair
Conrad Taff Professor of Nutrition
Professor of Pediatrics
Director, Division of Nutrition
Harvard Medical School
Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center
Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)

Allan Walker is the Conrad Taff Professor of Nutrition and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. After completing medical school at Washington University of St. Louis, he trained in Pediatrics and Immunology with Dr. Robert Good at the University of Minnesota before coming to Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard Medical School) to train in Gastroenterology and Nutrition with Dr. Kurt Isselbacher. Dr. Walker joined the faculty of Pediatrics in 1971 and became Professor in 1982. He established the first Pediatric Gastroenterology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1973 and became Director of a Combined Program in Pediatric Gastroenterology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in 1982. He currently is Director of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School and an Investigator in the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. His research interests include the association between initial bacterial colonization and development of intestinal host defense and the role of breastfeeding and protective nutrients in the ontogeny of intestinal immune homeostasis.  He has received numerous honors in recognition of his research including the Shwachman Award from NASPGHAN and the Hugh Butt Award from the AGA for mucosal immunologic research and a R-37 (MERIT) Award from the National Institutes of Health for outstanding investigation in breast milk immunology.  Recently, Dr. Walker’s laboratory has defined the cellular mechanism of probiotic protection in necrotizing enterocolitis.

 

R. Balfour Sartor, MD Balfour Sartor, MD
Distinguished Professor, Department of Medicine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Balfour Sartor, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology; Director of the UNC Multidisciplinary IBD Center; and a CCFA Chief Medical Advisor, is a board certified gastroenterologist specializing in IBD and a basic scientist, running a large NIH and CCFA-funded laboratory. Research interests: pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and translating basic science knowledge to improve IBD diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Sartor investigates resident intestinal bacteria in immune mediated intestinal inflammation, has published over 300 research articles and reviews, and edited five books. He directs a large gnotobiotic unit and uses germ-free mice to investigate mechanisms by which resident microbiota initiate, perpetuate and protect against chronic intestinal inflammation.

 

Peter R. Holt, MD Peter Holt, MD
Senior Research Associate
Associate Director, Sackler Center for Biomedicine and Nutrition
Rockefeller University, USA

Dr. Peter Holt was born in Berlin, Germany, emigrated to the United Kingdom where he received his medical degree at the University of London. After a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Massachusettes General Hospital (Dr. Kurt Isselbacher) he became chief of gastroenterology at St. Luke’s Hospital, and then the combined St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. He rose to the rank of Professor of Medicine at Columbia University in 1975 and now is Emeritus Professor at that university. He also holds a position of Adjunct Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Holt’s research interest has been centered on the function of epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract. His early work focused on mechanisms of lipid and bile salt absorption, and cellular metabolism and he was the first to clarify the physiology of the intestinal absorption of medium chain triglycerides and their application in the management of several gastrointestinal diseases. Later studies showing that colonic changes in aging resembled those found in the precancerous bowel led to research of biomarkers of risk and potential chemopreventive approaches for colorectal cancer risk reduction. Much of this focus was on effects of calcium and vitamin D (as well as folic acid) on the colon and their mechanism of action.

For the past decade, he has been a Senior Research Scientist at The Rockefeller University using its unique nutritional and metabolic facilities to conduct translational human studies in cancer prevention. In collaboration with investigators at Weill Cornell and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, he has been studying how obesity increases the risk and the recurrence of colorectal and breast cancers. These studies focused on the role of inflammation and the potential preventive effects of anti-inflammatory approaches upon adipose tissues, skin, systemic metabolism and intestinal microbiota in obesity.

 

Speakers

 

Jeff Gordon, MD
Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor
Director, Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology
Washington University in St. Louis, USA

Jeffrey Gordon is the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his A.B. from Oberlin College and his M.D. from the University of Chicago. After completing his clinical training in internal medicine and gastroenterology and doing a post-doctoral fellowship at the NIH, he joined the faculty at 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 for the past decade as founding Director of the University’s interdepartmental Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology.

Students in his lab have created innovative preclinical models, and developed new experimental and computational approaches, for characterizing the assembly, dynamic operations, functional properties, and biological effects of human gut microbial communities. He has combined these models with human studies involving twins as well as members of birth cohorts living in low-, middle- and high-income countries representing diverse geographic locations and cultural traditions. 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 new ways of promoting healthy development of the gut community during the first several years of postnatal life.

He has been the research mentor to 127 PhD and MD/PhD students and post-doctoral fellows. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (where he served as Chair of its ‘Medical Physiology and Metabolism’ Section from 2010-2013), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Philosophical Society. He is the recipient of the Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology from the National Academy of Sciences (2013), the Robert Koch Award (2013), the Passano Laureate Award (2014), the Dickson Prize in Medicine (2014), the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine (2015), the Keio Medical Science Prize (2015), the Steven C. Beering Award (2016), Jacobaeus Prize, Novo Nordisk Foundation (2017), Massry Prize (2017), and the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize (2017), plus honorary degrees from the University of Gothenburg and University of Chicago.

 

Alessio Fasano, MD
W. Allan Walker Chair of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Associate Chief, Department of Pediatrics, Basic, Clinical and Translational Research
MassGeneral Hospital for Children, USA
Director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment
Director of the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center
Massachusetts General Hospital, USA

World-renowned pediatric gastroenterologist, research scientist, and entreprenuer Alessio Fasano, M.D. is the W. Allan Walker Chair of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He is Division Chief of Pediatric Gastroentrology and Nutrition, Director of the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center and Associate Chief for Basic, Clinical and Translational Research for the Department of Pediatrics at at the same Institution.

Trained in Naples, Italy, as a pediatric gastroenterologist, Dr. Fasano was recruited to the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1993 and founded its Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and remained at that Institution until he moved to MGHfC in January 2013. Dr. Fasano’s research expertise encompasses both basic science focused on bacterial pathogenesis, gut microbiome, regulation of gut permeability and intestinal mucosal biology and immunology, and translational science focused on the role of impaired intestinal barrier function in the pathogenesis of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. Almost 15 years ago, Dr. Fasano’s lab discovered zonulin, a protein involved in the regulation of tight junctions and upregulated by changes in gut microbiome composition. Following this discovery, Dr. Fasano focused his major research interest in the pathophysiology of the paracellular pathway and structural changes of cell cytoskeleton and tight junctions induced by zonulin, its involvement in antigen trafficking and, ultimately development of chronic inflammatory diseases, including autoimmune, metabolic, and tumoral disorders, in genetically susceptible individuals. Dr. Fasano’s lab is currently investigating the composition and changes in the gastrointestinal microbiota to help determine why some individuals with an inherited predisposition to chronic inflammatory diseases develop clinical disease while others do not (Visit www.cdgemm.org).

Dr. Fasano is author of more than 280 peer reviewed manuscripts, he has been funded continuously by the National Institute of Health since 1996, is inventor of more than 160 patents, was co-founder of Alba Therapeutics, a company focused on developing synthetic peptides for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases (one of them, the zonulin inhibitor Larazotide acetate, is now entering phase III trial) and has received several awards, including the Shwachman award, the Linus Pauling Award, and the Entrepreneur of the year award and the Researcher of the year award from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Fasano has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN, Bloomberg News, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Good Morning America, and Der Spiegel.

 

 Robert Hutkins, PhD
Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology
University of Nebraska- Lincoln, USA

Professor Bob Hutkins is the Khem Shahani Professor of Food Microbiology in the Food Science and Technology Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Before coming to UNL, he worked at Sanofi Bio Ingredients in Wisconsin and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Boston University School of Medicine. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Missouri and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

The Hutkins Lab studies bacteria important in human health and in fermented foods. We are particularly interested in understanding: (1) factors affecting persistence and colonization of probiotic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract; (2) how prebiotics shift the intestinal microbiota and metabolic activities in humans and animals; (3) how these shifts affect host health; and (4) how a combination of pro- and prebiotics (synbiotics) can enhance health outcomes.  We address these questions using next generation sequencing, metagenomics, and other molecular techniques. Both clinical in vivo, as well as in vitro approaches are used. We are also interested in the specific molecular mechanisms and pathways used by probiotic lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria to metabolize prebiotic oligosaccharides. Finally, our group has begun to develop application strategies for incorporating prebiotics into foods.

 

Erika Isolauri, MD, PhDProfessor of Pediatrics
University of Turku
Chief Physician
Department of Pediatrics, Turku University Hospital, Finland

Dr Isolauri is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Turku, and Chief Physician of Department of Paediatrics at Turku University Hospital and Head of the Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku, Finland.

She has received Academic Honours from University of Tampere, Finland; the John Harris Prize from European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition; the Niilo Hallman price from the Foundation for Paediatric Research, Finland; an award from Institut Candia 1993 (France) and International Award for Modern Nutrition, Swiss Central Nutrition Association. She has given the Marvin L. Dixon Memorial Lecture at Harvard Combined Program in Pediatric GI&Nutrition Unit, Children´s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA, the Martin Rosenhead Lecture (The Foundation of Allergy Research), Royal Society of Medicine, London, United Kingdom; the Nanna Svartz Lecture, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; and the Tissier Price Lecture at the Japan Bifidus Foundation. In 2010 she received the The IDF Elie Metchnikoff Prize 2010 in the category Nutrition and Health (together with Professor Seppo Salminen). In 2016, she received the Matti Äyräpää Award from The Finnish Medical Society Duodecim.

She has supervised 25 doctoral theses (PhD) and acted as Opponent at the University of Helsinki and the University of Tampere, Finland; Université Paris XI, France, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and Wageningen Unversity, The Netherlands.

Her Major Research Interests are: Gastroenterology, food allergy; Nutrition and Immunology.

She is the leader of the Neonatal exposures, Adverse outcomes, Mucosal immunology and Intestinal microbiota (NAMI) programme. Author of 440 scientific publications, she has written 265 original publications, 110 Review articles/ Chapters in books and 66 Scientific articles in Finnish. In addition she has 174 Invited Lectures in International Academic Meetings. H-index 83 (December, 2017).

 

Jake Lusis, PhD
Professor, Departments of Microbiology Medicine
University of California- Los Angeles, USA

Aldons (Jake) Lusis is Professor of Microbiology, Human Genetics and Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Oregon State University and did postdoctoral work in molecular genetics and mouse genetics in the laboratory of Ken Paigen at Roswell Park Memorial Institute prior to joining the faculty of UCLA.

His laboratory uses the combination of genetics, molecular biology, and informatics to investigate pathways underlying common cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. They exploit natural genetic variation among inbred strains of mice (and among human populations when possible) to identify novel targets and formulate hypotheses, and they perform validation using experimental perturbations in mice. A major focus has been the interactions of lipid metabolism and inflammation in cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

The laboratory has taken advantage of high throughput biologic technologies, such as transcriptomics, metabolomics, and proteomics, to help develop new approaches to understand complex traits. They have shown that when integrated with natural genetic variation, such multi-omics analyses can be used to model biologic pathways and uncover regulatory mechanisms, an approach known as “systems genetics”. They have recently applied this to understand host-gut microbiome interactions and how they contribute to cardio-metabolic disease.

During the past 10 years, they have developed a unique mapping approach in mice that is analogous to genome-wide association studies in humans. This approach utilizes a well-characterized population of 100 inbred strains of mice, termed the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP). A major advantage of this approach is that the resolution is much better than with traditional genetic crosses. It also facilitates studies of gene-by-environment interactions, which are very difficult to address in human populations, and it has important advantages for systems-based approaches which require access to relevant tissues.

 

Charles Mackay, PhD.
Professor
Monash University, Australia

Charles Mackay did his Ph.D at Melbourne University, and worked at the Basel Institute for Immunology, LeukoSite Inc. and Millennium Therapeutics in Boston USA, and Garvan Institute in Sydney, before moving to Monash University in mid 2009.

Charles Mackay is accomplished in the fields of inflammation, GPCR biology, cell migration and cytokine biology. Charles Mackay is a leading advocate of a new explanation for many ‘western lifestyle’ diseases – that diet, gut microbes and their metabolites are responsible. He is commercializing a new ‘medicinal foods’ approach for the treatment of many human diseases. He is a leader in the field of metabolite-sensing GPCRs. His other interests include inflammatory diseases such as asthma, arthritis, type 1 diabetes, colitis, and Western lifestyle disease such as food allergy, fatty liver disease, hypertension and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Simin Meydani, DVM, PhD
Vice Provost for Research
Tufts University, USA

Dr. Simin Nikbin Meydani was appointed Vice Provost of Research at Tufts University in August 2016 after having served as the Director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University since 2009. She is professor of nutrition and immunology at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Tufts Sackler Graduate Program in Immunology. Dr. Meydani’s scientific interests include the impact of nutrition on the aging process and age-associated diseases, the role of nutrition on immune and inflammatory responses and predisposition to infectious diseases in developed and less developed countries. She is an internationally recognized scholar with more than 300 publications and continuous USDA, NIH, industry and foundation funding. Her research is multidisciplinary and expands from cell and molecular to animal and clinical investigations. Her honors include the American Aging Association Denham Harman Lifetime Research Achievement Award; American Society of Nutrition (ASN) Herman Award in clinical nutrition; ASN Lederle Award in Human Nutrition Research; Fellow of Hedwig van Amerigen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine; American College of Nutrition Grace Goldsmith Award; International HERMES Vitamin Research Award; She was the President of the American Society for Nutrition (June 2014-June 2015) and President of the American Aging Association (2005-2006). She has served the academic, government and corporate communities as: member of NIH Geriatric Rehabilitation Study Section, Aging Systems and Geriatrics Study Section, and Cellular Mechanism of Aging and Development Study Section; member of USDA Human Nutrient Requirements for Optimal Health Program Grant Review Panel; member of United Nations FAO/WHO Expert Panel on Nutritional Requirements of the Elderly; member of NIH-funded Consortium Lipid Maps Scientific Advisory Committee, NIA Primate Calorie Restriction Project Advisory Board; member of the ILSI North America Board of Trustees, of the editorial boards of several journals; chair of several national and international meetings. Dr. Meydani holds a D.V.M. (Tehran University), an M.S. in Nutrition (Colorado State University) and a Ph.D. in Nutrition (Iowa State University).

 

Paul O’Toole, PhD
Professor of Microbial Genomics
School of Microbiology & APC Microbiome Ireland, University College Cork

Following industry and academic positions in Sweden, Canada, New Zealand and the US, Paul O’Toole is Professor of Microbial Genomics at University College Cork, Ireland. His main research theme is the genomics of gastrointestinal bacteria in humans with emphasis on lactobacillus genomics; gut microbiota in ageing, colorectal cancer and in IBS. He has co-ordinated and participated in several major projects that examine the composition and function of the gut microbiota, its reaction to habitual diet, and its relationship to health, functional gastrointestinal disorders, and ageing. The ultimate aim of these investigations is to understand host-microbiome interactions, especially in the context of multi-factorial disease. He co-ordinated the ELDERMET project (eldermet.ucc.ie), a nationally funded €5M project that established diet-microbiota health interactions in 500 elderly persons, and he leads a project called ELDERFOOD that is investigating novel foods for healthy aging. He is a Principal Investigator in the APC Microbiome Institute (apc.ucc.ie), in which he leads projects on microbiota as a modulator of disease risk in aging and colorectal cancer. He has participated in several EU projects on gut microbiota including NuAge (anchored by University of Bologna) and MyNewGut (anchored by CSIC Valencia). He is a co-founder of 4D Pharma Cork Ltd., which is developing microbiome profiling as an adjunct to health management. Research in his lab is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, Dept. Agriculture Fisheries and Marine, the Health Research Board, and the European Union.

 

Ian Sanderson, MD
Professor of Paediatric Gastroenterology
Queen Mary University of London, UK

Ian Sanderson first became interested in the intestine as a graduate student under Dr Dennis Parsons in Oxford where he examined the exit of absorbed amino acids from the enterocyte. After finishing his medical studies he worked as a house officer to Dr Anthony Dawson and trained as a paediatrician at the Hospitals for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street. He was the CICRA Clinical Research Fellow at St Bartholomew’s Hospital with Dr John Walker-Smith where he demonstrated that an elemental diet was as effective as high dose steroids in children with Crohn’s disease. He also showed that those taking the enteral feeds grew faster. After completing his training as a paediatrician and paediatric gastroenterologist, Professor Sanderson moved to Harvard Medical School as a Fulbright Scholar in Dr Allan Walker’s department. He became Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Developmental Gastroenterology Laboratory at the Harvard Clinical Nutrition Research Centre. He developed the concept that luminal factors regulate genes in the epithelium that signal to the mucosal immune system. By this means, changes in diet can act through enterocytes altering inflammatory mechanisms in the intestine. Professor Sanderson was awarded the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of American Silver Jubilee award for his work in childhood Crohn’s disease and the Norman Kretchmer Award in Nutrition and Development for his work on the effect of diet on genes in the developing intestine. His current laboratory in London examines how diet affects the microbiota in Crohn’s disease; and how dietary factors act on genes in the epithelium both through promoter-based mechanisms and through changes in chromosomal structure.

Professor Sanderson was the first to show: (i) that the enterocyte has distinct transporters on the basolateral aspect for the exit of different amino acids (published 1980); (ii) that enteral feeds are as efficacious in treating children with Crohn’s disease as high dose steroids, while showing a significant benefit for growth (1987); (iii) that diet can regulate immune gene expression by the epithelium in vivo (1993); (iv) that short chain fatty acids (SCFA) regulate chemokine and IGF binding protein expression in enterocytes through histone acetylation (1997); (v) that breast milk contains Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in high concentrations, and that there is a VEGF receptor on the intestinal epithelial cell (1999); (vi) by epithelial cell-specific transgenic techniques, that chemokine expression by the intestinal epithelium orchestrates neutrophil and lymphocyte invasion in vivo (2001); (vii) that diet and age interact at the nuclear protein level to regulate gene expression (2004); (viii) that IL-6 mediates growth retardation in Crohn’s disease (2005); (ix) with Prof Tom MacDonald that colonic myofibroblasts enhance chemokine activity of the epithelial cell (2006); (x) that non-canonical Wnt signalling from colonic myofibroblasts enhances the repair of epithelial monolayers (2012) (xi) with Prof Petterson in Sweden, that persistent TLR signalling in the epithelial cells reduces the generation of new intestinal tumours in mice (2014). As a clinician he has also published many observations, including being the first to describe four new diseases of childhood, two of which involve inflammation in the GI tract.

 

Claire Steves, PhD
Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Physician
Kings College London, and Guys and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust UK

Claire Steves is a clinically active geriatrician at Guys and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust, and a Senior Clinical Lecturer at King’s College London. She has an active portfolio of research into early predictors of frailty and conditions of ageing. She is Deputy Director (Clinical) for the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, which is home to the TwinsUK cohort – one of the most deeply phenotyped and genotyped twin cohorts in the world. The cohort has an average age of 65, and Claire leads the characterization of physical and mental ageing traits and frailty in the cohort. Her particular research focus is the relationship between the gut, urinary and salivary microbiome and conditions of ageing, including cognitive ageing, frailty and multi-morbidity.  Clinically she specialises in the management of acute delirium and dementia in medically complex patients.

Claire graduated first class from Cambridge University in 1997, and went on to pursue clinical studies in the East End of London, graduating with multiple distinctions in 2000. She pursued clinical training in the prestigious St Thomas’s medical rotation before specializing in Geriatric Medicine. In 2009 she decided to turn to research to try to understand why there is so much variance in how we age, both physically and cognitively, with the ultimate aim of preventing frailty in older people. She won a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellowship, gaining her PhD in 2014. Claire lives on the prime meridian in Greenwich with her husband and their three children.

 

Sathish Subramanian, MD, PhD
Resident, Department of Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital, USA

Sathish Subramanian completed his MD, PhD at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine under the guidance of Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon where he, along with colleagues in Bangladesh, used high-throughput sequencing and machine-learning methods to demonstrate that healthy children share a signature of healthy gut bacteria development that appears to be conserved between different unrelated individuals and populations, despite varying physical environments, culinary traditions and ancestry. His work also revealed that gut bacterial development in undernourished children lag behind their healthy peers and are not promoted by currently available therapeutic foods.

Sathish is originally from Zambia and holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania as a Roy and Diana Vagelos scholar and University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge scholar. He is currently a resident of the Stanbury Physician-Scientist Pathway in the Department of Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

 

 

Eline van der Beek, PhD
Professor Nutritional Programming
University Medical Center Groningen
Research Director, Early Life Development
Nutricia Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Eline van der Beek studied Zoology and completed a PhD in Neuroendocrinology at the Utrecht University in 1994. She was an A/Prof at the Animal Sciences Department, Wageningen University, before joining Numico Research in 2000 leading a research team in Physiology. In 2007, she became Program Director responsible for metabolic programming research. Between August’10 and July’15, she was Research Director of Danone-Nutricia Early Life Nutrition in Singapore, the first R&D centre in Asia to focus on maternal and child health. In August’15 she returned to R&D headquarters in the Netherlands were she is heading a Centre of Excellence in Metabolism & Growth. Since June 2016 she has been appointed as Professor in “Nutritional Programming” at the University of Groningen at the Department of Pediatrics, University Medical Centre Groningen. She continues to study nutritional programming of later life health understanding the contribution of the health of the mother as well as the role of nutrition, in particular nutrient quality during different stages of early life development. Eline is a (co)inventor >25 patent applications and has published >90 articles in peer reviewed journals.

 

Cirle Warren, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
University of Virginia School of Medicine, USA

Dr. Warren is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia. She is the Infectious Disease specialist at the Complicated Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI) clinic and Fecal Microbiota Transplantation program at the UVA Health System in Charlottesville VA. Her research interests are pathogenesis, impact and management, development of in vitro and in vivo models and host immune and inflammatory responses in enteric infections. Her current research focuses on the role of the aging immune system and microbiota in the short and long term outcomes of CDI and development of alternative pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions for Clostridium difficile infection, specifically for the elderly. She is presently a member of the Infectious Disease Society of America Expert Panel on Clinical Practice Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Infectious Diarrhea.

 

Gary D. Wu, MD Gary Wu, MD
Ferdinand G. Weisbrod Professor in Gastroenterology
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, USA

Dr. Wu is the Ferdinand G. Weisbrod Professor in Gastroenterology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where he is the Associate Chief for Research in the Division of Gastroenterology and is also the Associate Director of the Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Disease. He is currently Director and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the American Gastroenterological Association Center for Gut Microbiome Research and Education and is an elected member of both the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians. The research programs in the Wu laboratory focus on the mutualistic interactions between the gut microbiota and the host with a particular focus on metabolism. Growing evidence suggests that diet impacts upon both the structure and function of the gut microbiota that, in turn, influences the host in fundamental ways. Current areas of investigation include the effect of diet on the composition of the gut microbiota and its subsequence effect on host metabolism related to nitrogen balance as well as its impact on metabolic pathways in the intestinal epithelium, principally fatty acid oxidation. Through a UH3 roadmap initiate grant, he is helping to direct a project investigating the impact of diet on the composition of the gut microbiome and its relationship to therapeutic responses associated with the treatment of patients with Crohn’s disease using an elemental diet. Finally, Dr. Wu is leading a multidisciplinary group of investigators using phosphorescent nanoprobe technology to examine the dynamic oxygen equilibrium between the host and the gut microbiota at the intestinal mucosal interface.

 

Erwin Zoetendal, PhD
Associate Professor
Wageningen University & Research Centre, The Netherlands

Erwin Zoetendal is an associate professor at the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University & Research. His research aims to identify and exploit the ecological concepts that define the intestinal microbiota composition and function of the human intestine. His current research focuses on studying key intestinal microbes, their interactions and functions, and how these are impacted by diet. Erwin got his Ph.D. at Wageningen University & Research in 2001 on research focusing on characterization of human intestinal microbiota using 16S rRNA-based approaches. This pioneering research lead to the well-acknowledged discovery that the human intestinal microbiota is subject-specific. Erwin is a well-recognized expert in intestinal microbiology and has >100 publications in international refereed scientific journals, 10 book chapters, more than 25,000 citations, and an H-index of 53 (Google Scholar). He has given numerous lectures at international and local meetings, including the Rome Foundation AGA Institute Lectureship at the Digestive Disease Week 2010. Erwin received an honorary appointment of guest professor at Nanjing Agricultural University in China in 2014. He is an elected member of the Rome Foundation as well as member of the editorial boards of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Plos One. In addition, he is an ad hoc reviewer for several international journals, including Gut and the ISME Journal.