December 12-14

San Francisco, CA

Day One
Wednesday 13th December, 2017

Day Two
Thursday 14th December, 2017

08.00
Morning Coffee and Registration

08.50
Chairman’s Opening Remarks

  • Emeran Mayer Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress, Division of Digestive Diseases, UCLA

MANIPULATING THE GUT-BRAIN AXIS TO DEMONSTRATE CAUSALITY

Synopsis

Introduction and Purpose:

While the bidirectional communication between gut microbiota and the brain are believed to be involved in the development of GI disorders, the scientific community has suggested a more recent link to several brain disorders including ASD, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Anxiety. The purpose of this theme will be to review the current progress of the gut brain axis in treating health & disease.

09.00
Microbiota and the Rise of the Gut-Brain Axis – a New Era in Understanding Brain Gut Disorders

  • Emeran Mayer Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress, Division of Digestive Diseases, UCLA

Synopsis

  • Discussing current progress that has been made in characterizing bi-directional interactions between brain, gut, and microbiome
  • Challenges in studying the brain gut microbiome axis in humans
  • A mechanistic understanding to assess where the field of research currently stands and where the future lies

10.00
Mapping Gut-Brain Circuits to Discover Therapeutic Targets

Synopsis

  • Exploring the communication highway between the gut and the brain to help offer unprecedented opportunity to influence fundamental human processes
  • Using insights from gut-brain circuit research to change the way we think about food, nutrition, and human physiology
  • Combining cutting-edge technologies including sequencing, bioinformatics, neural imaging and human genetics to create transformational therapeutics

10.30
Speed Networking

11.00
Morning Refreshments

MICROBIAL METABOLITES THAT CONTROL THE MIND

Synopsis

Introduction and Purpose:

A number of important signaling metabolites produced by gut bacteria have effects on brain function and behavior. The purpose of this theme will be to review current translational data that provides further evidence to suggest microbiota messengers may have implications in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of neurological disorders.

11.30
Short Chain Fatty Acids- Microbial Modulators of Metabolism, Mitochondria and Mind- Implications in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

  • Derrick Macfabe MD, Co-Founder and Director, Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group

Synopsis

  • Discussing mechanisms derived from translational models and human populations where small molecule metabolites of the host microbiome may effect brain function and behavior
  • How are levels of these small molecules altered in relation to diet, birth practices, microbial populations, antimicrobials, metabolic intermediates and genetic endophenotypes
  • Are there potential therapeutic mechanisms to modulate small molecule metabolite metabolism to treat or prevent neuropsychiatric disease, or develop screening mechanisms for those “at risk” for these conditions

12.00
Panel Presentation: Moving Away From “One Size Fits All”- Analyzing Small Molecule Metabolites for Therapeutic Potential

  • Derrick Macfabe MD, Co-Founder and Director, Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group

Synopsis

  • What mechanisms can be employed (diet, functional foods, microbiome reconstitution), to alter small molecule metabolites and effect host brain behavior?
  • How can we leverage these mechanisms to develop therapeutics? what critical factors should we consider?
  • How can we make these treatments personalized?

NEUROTRANSMITTERS, HORMONES AND IMMUNE-MODULATORS

Synopsis

Introduction and Purpose:

In addition to microbial metabolites, gut microbiota can influence the production of necessary neurotransmitters and hormones that are critical in regulating behavior. The purpose of this theme will be to investigate the role of these molecules in shaping the nervous systems and potential links to disease.

12.30
GABA Modulating Bacteria of the Human Gut Microbiota

Synopsis

  • Identification of the first bacterium from the human microbiota completely dependent on GABA for growth
  • Using this organism to identify and culture a panel of diverse GABA-producing bacteria
  • GABA production and consumption capabilities are widespread throughout the microbiota, suggesting these organisms can modulate levels of this important neurotransmitter

13.00
Lunch and Networking

TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES TO IGNITE A PARADIGM SHIFT IN DISEASE PREVENTION

Synopsis

Introduction and Purpose:

To extensively explore the complex mechanisms underlying gut-brain signaling, novel sequencing methods and bioinformatics techniques are essential to help investigate the link between gut microbiota and the brain. The purpose of this theme will be to highlight and review key technological advancements that are set to accelerate gut-brain research.

14.00
Microbial Reconstitution Reverses Maternal Diet-Induced Social and Synaptic Deficits in Offspring

  • Joseph Petrosino CSO and Director, Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research, Diversigen and Baylor College of Medicine

Synopsis

  • Maternal high-fat diet (MHFD) induces behavioral alterations in offspring
  • MHFD also causes alterations in gut microbial ecology in offspring
  • Induced behavioral alterations are shown to be restored via selective reintroduction of a commensal bacterial strain

14.30
Bacterial Peptidoglycans as Potential Microbiome Markers for the Identification of Infants at Risk for Neurodevelomental Disorders

BUILDING ROBUST PRE-CLINICAL PACKAGES – FROM MOUSE TO MECHANISM

Synopsis

Introduction and Purpose:

A number of experimental approaches in rodents have been explored to help study the effects of gut-brain interactions including treatment with antibiotics, FMT, probiotics etc. The purpose of this theme will be to explore cutting edge research conducted using animal models whilst addressing the current limitations that exist when transitioning research into a clinical setting.

15.00
Position Reserved

15.30
Host Genetics in Microbiota-Brain Signalling: Importance to Mental Health

  • Jane Foster Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University

Synopsis

  • Host genetics influences gut microbiota composition
  • Microbiota influence brain structure and behavior
  • Manipulating microbiota in mouse models provides insight into microbiota-brain signaling

16.00
Afternoon Refreshments and Networking

INTERACTIVE ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS – UNANSWERED QUESTIONS IN THE GUT-BRAIN AXIS

Synopsis

Introduction and Purpose:
With the size and complexity of the Gut-Brain Axis, there still remains a number of fundamental questions to allow scientific researchers to forge a successful path in demonstrating causality for a number of disease indications. The purpose of this theme will be to address questions in an informal setting to build a better understanding of this explosive field of research.

Session Format:
More practical and highly interactive breakout roundtables where attendees can crowdsource solutions and share opinions around pre-assigned topic areas. This is a valuable chance for you to unite around hot topics and debate best practice. No more sitting quietly, this is a dedicated opportunity for you to voice your experiences and identify unique solutions.

16.30
Roundtable 1: Microbiome & CNS-Identifying the Key Challenges in the Field

16.30
Roundtable 2: Changing the Mind-Set for Translational Partnerships between Academia and Industry

  • Jane Foster Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University

16.30
Roundtable 3: How Can Research Address Causation of Microbiome Metabolic Alterations and Not Correlation?

  • Derrick Macfabe MD, Co-Founder and Director, Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group

17.30
Chair’s Closing Remarks

  • Emeran Mayer Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress, Division of Digestive Diseases, UCLA

17.40
End of Conference Day One

Scientific Poster Session

Synopsis

After the formal presentations have finished, the learning and networking carry on. The Poster Session is an informal part of the conference agenda, allowing you to connect with your peers in a relaxed atmosphere and continue to forge new and existing relationships.