December 12-14

San Francisco, CA

Speakers

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Sarkis Mazmanian
Caltech and Co-Founder
Axial Biotherapuetics

Sarkis K Mazmanian, PhD, is the Louis & Nelly Soux Professor of Microbiology in the Division of Biology & Biological Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. His laboratory focuses on the study of beneficial bacterial molecules from the human gut microbiome as novel therapies for immunologic and neurologic disorders, with a specific focus on developing probiotic treatments for autism. He is a founder of 2 biotech companies, and has or currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of over a dozen companies, academic centers and not-for-profit foundations.

Workshop A: Pre Conference Workshop

Tuesday 12th December, 2017

09.00 | A Fundamental Guide to the Gut-Brain Axis

Susanne Wolf
Principal Investigator
Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine

Dr. Wolf  studied ethology at the Humboldt University of Berlin and then undertook a PhD in Neuroimmunology. Combining both subjects, she then turned her attention to the field of psychoneuroimmunology, first at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and later at Stanford University, USA. After returning to the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin she began her investigations into the cross-talk between different cells within the brain and from the periphery in the context of psychiatric disorders.

Workshop B: Pre Conference Workshop

Tuesday 12th December, 2017

13.00 | The Infant Microbiome and the Gut-Brain Axis

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

Dr Emeran Mayer is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Executive Director of the Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress, and Co-director of the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center at UCLA. He has 30 years experience in the study of clinical and neurobiological aspects of how the digestive system and the nervous system interact in health and disease. He has published over 320 peer reviewed articles, co-edited four books, and organized several interdisciplinary symposia in the area of visceral pain and mind body interactions.  His current research focuses on the role of the gut microbiota in brain gut interactions in health, chronic visceral pain and obesity.

Day One

Wednesday 13th December, 2017

17.30 | Chair's Closing Remarks

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

08.50 | Chairman’s Opening Remarks

Nancy Thornberry
CEO
Kallyope

Nancy was formerly Senior Vice President and Franchise Head, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Merck & Co. Inc. In this role she led discovery and clinical research in diabetes, osteoporosis, fertility and contraception. Prior to her role as Franchise Head, Nancy initiated and was a leader of Merck’s dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) project, which resulted in the discovery of JANUVIA® for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Among other notable scientific accomplishments is the identification of the first caspase, interleukin-1β converting enzyme (ICE/caspase-1). In addition to her role at Kallyope, she serves as a Director at Intarcia Therapeutics and Abide Therapeutics.

Day One

Wednesday 13th December, 2017

10.00 | Mapping Gut-Brain Circuits to Discover Therapeutic Targets

David Donabedian
CEO
Axial Biotherapeutics

Dr. Donabedian is an accomplished business development and strategy executive with extensive leadership experience. Dr. Donabedian has a track record of building companies, most recently as a Venture Partner at Longwood Fund. Prior to joining Longwood, Dr. Donabedian has held various leadership roles at biopharmaceutical companies including AbbVie and GSK.

Day Two

Thursday 14th December, 2017

13.30 | Targeting the Gut Microbiome to Treat Neurological Conditions: Elucidating a Causal Relationship between the Gut and Disease

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

Joseph F. Petrosino, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine and the Director of the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research. He holds joint appointments in the Human Genome Sequencing Center, Department of Ophthalmology, and is a member of the Cell and Molecular Biology and Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine programs. Dr. Petrosino has authored 40 original papers. Among 14 published in 2012 are the June HMP flagship manuscripts in Nature, collaborative studies examining microbiome associations with Cystic Fibrosis, pregnancy, nutritional intervention in colitis, rotavirus infection, and the shaping of the microbiome from birth in murine systems.

Day One

Wednesday 13th December, 2017

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

Shahram Lavasani
Founder & CEO
ImmuneBiotech

Shahram holds a Ph.D. degree from Lund University in Medical Inflammation Research. He is a skilful immunologist with many years of research expertise on gastrointestinal complications in autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases. Focusing on Brain-Gut axis he has pioneered research in multiple sclerosis (MS: brain inflammation) by targeting the gut using combination of probiotic bacteria.

Day Two

Thursday 14th December, 2017

10.00 | Designed Microbiome Therapies Targeting the Microbes and Beyond

Phil Strandwitz
Co-Founder & CEO
Holobiome

Dr. Philip 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 Kim Lewis at Northeastern University, where he focused on cultivating unique bacteria from the human gut microbiota. 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.

Day One

Wednesday 13th December, 2017

12.30 | GABA Modulating Bacteria of the Human Gut Microbiota

Patrice Garnier
CEO
AMABiotics

Patrice Garnier is Chief Executive Officer for Amabiotics. Dr. Garnier is an entrepreneur with 20 years of experience leading Hightech companies. Prior to joining Amabiotics in April 2013, he founded and served for 9 years as CEO of Genostar, a bioinformatics company that delivers genome to metabolome solutions for data analysis and management. Dr. Garnier holds an MS in quantum physics from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He completed his PhD in nanotechnology in Professor Catherine Brechignac’s group at the Laboratoire Aimée Cotton, CNRS.

Day Two

Thursday 14th December, 2017

14.00 | From Microbiome Explorations to Effective Innovative Therapies in Parkinson Disease

Helene Savignac
Preclinical Group Leader
4D Pharma PLC

As Preclinical Group Leader, Helene is responsible for developing all aspects of the preclinical studies at 4D Pharma to investigate the potential of live biotherapeutic products. With over 10 years of experience studying the gut-brain axis, Helene investigated the effects of prebiotics on brain-related disorders at Clasado BioSciences and as a post-doctoral researcher at Oxford University. She received her PhD from the University College Cork in Neurobiology and Neurosciences.

Day One

Wednesday 13th December, 2017

15.00 | Position Reserved

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

Dr. Foster is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. She holds a research appointment as a Scientific Associate with the University Health Network and as a Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, ON. Dr. Foster is an active researcher in two large translational networks -  the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders Network (POND) and the Canadian Biomarkers in Depression (CAN-BIND). Dr. Foster’s research focuses on the role of immune-brain and gut-brain interactions on neurodevelopment, behaviour, and brain function. Dr. Foster hopes that her research accomplishments lead to a better understanding of how these relationships contribute to psychiatric disorders such as neurodevelopmental disorders, anxiety and depression.

Day One

Wednesday 13th December, 2017

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

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

Rochellys Diaz Heijtz
Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institutet

Dr Diaz Heijtz research interests are centred on understanding the biological basis of neurodevelopmental disorders, with a focus on ADHD and ASD. Key subjects under investigation include the impact of gut microbiota on brain development and outlining clinical studies of young children at high risk of ASD, with a special focus on the role of gut microbiota.

Day One

Wednesday 13th December, 2017

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

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

Antonio Gonzalez Pena
Programmer Analyst
KnightLab at UC San Diego

At UCSD, Antonio  is developing new computational methods to compare large numbers of microbial communities and to put these comparisons in a temporal and spatial context, with the ultimate goal of understanding and controlling microbial communities to improve health in different environments.

Day Two

Thursday 14th December, 2017

12.00 | Tools and Methods for Discovery in Microbial Community Studies with Billions of Sequences

Caitlin Cowan
Post-Doctoral Researcher
APC Microbiome Institute

Day Two

Thursday 14th December, 2017

10.30 | Towards Psychobiotics – Microbiome, Brain and Behaviour

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

Dr. MacFabe is the Director of the Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group, and Assistant Professor, Depts. of Psychology (Neuroscience) & Psychiatry (Division of Developmental Disabilities), at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. He is also a Core Member of the iTARGET Autism Initiative, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He is investigating the role of gut-brain interactions on the identification and possible treatments of autism spectrum disorders. Dr. MacFabe’s research examining potential gastrointestinal and infective links in autism has been listed among the “Top 50 Scientific Discoveries in Canada” by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Day One

Wednesday 13th December, 2017

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

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

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

Todd Coleman
Associate Professor, Bioengineering
UC San Diego

Professor Coleman’s research is multi-disciplinary at its core. His main goal is to use tools from information theory, neuroscience, machine learning and bioelectronics to understand – and control – interacting systems with biological and computer parts. His research in developing multi-functional, flexible bio-electronics are enabling wireless health applications that are minimally observable to the user. His brain-machine interface research uses information theory, control theory and neuroscience to interpret – and design – systems from the viewpoint of multiple agents cooperating to achieve a common goal.

Day Two

Thursday 14th December, 2017

11.30 | Brain-Machine Interfaces to Measure Neural Signals- Gut Motility Data and Parkinson Disease

Imke Mulder
Research Director
4D Pharma PLC

Imke Mulder is the Research Director at 4D Pharma PLC (UK). She began her career at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health in Aberdeen, with her research primarily focussed on health-promoting interactions between the gut microbiota and the immune system in different model organisms. She moved to 4D Pharma in 2014 and now heads up a multidisciplinary research group of over 30 scientists focused on developing the MicroRx platform for the discovery of new live biotherapeutics. 4D Pharma currently has a number of live biotherapeutic products in clinical trials and has a comprehensive development programme in diverse therapeutic areas including GI, autoimmune, oncology, respiratory and CNS.

Day Two

Thursday 14th December, 2017

09.20 | Chair's Opening Remarks

14.30 | Chair’s Closing Remarks

Yanjiou Zhou
Research Scientist
The Jackson Laboratory

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). There is no known cause or cure. The evidence is emerging that the gut microbiome is essential in the pathogenesis of the disease by shaping host immunity and communicating with CNS via the gut-brain axis. By using a multiple disciplinary approaches that include bioinformatics, experimental microbiology, and immunology, I am working on the following three areas: (1) assess the gut microbiome as the marker for disease diagnosis and progression in patients; (2) identify microbes, genes and metabolites that protect from autoimmunity in mouse models and patients (3) determine how the gut microbiome affects the treatment efficiency of MS drug in mouse models.

I am also working on the second phase of Human Microbiome Project to characterize the global changes of nasal and gut microbiome, transcriptome, host metabolome and proteome in individuals at risk for Type II diabetes.

Day Two

Thursday 14th December, 2017

09.30 | Effects of Intermittent Fasting-induced Gut Microbiome Modulation on Autoimmunity in Multiple Sclerosis