Speakers


George Weinstock, Ph.D.
Professor, Evnin Family Chair and Director of Microbial Genomics
The Jackson Laboratory, Farmington, CT
Website

NGS & Metagenomic Analysis

His lab studies:
Uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) and metagenomic (the collective genome of the microbiome) analysis to generate cost—effective DNA sequence information of human microbiome in health and in clinical venues (in infectious diseases). Develops new diagnostic procedures (cheaper, faster, more accurate) for infection as well as microbiome-associated disease. These methods will identify individuals at risk for infection, the pathogens and the most effective antibiotics to control the disease.



Abel Baerga-Ortiz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry
University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, Rio Piedras, PR
Website

His research group has centered in developing methods for the quick and inexpensive detection of specific bacterial genes in stool samples. As part of this effort, we have found in human stool, a number of bacterial genes that have been previously associated with inflammation in other tissues such as kidney and skin. The presence of these pro-inflammatory genes in the human gut and their increased frequency in colorectal cancer patients, suggest a possible link between harboring these genes and the risk of cancer. We are currently exploring possible mechanisms by which these genes may promote inflammation in the GI tract.



Yvonne Huang, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Website

Microbiota and Asthma

Her lab studies:

  • The respiratory microbiome in asthma and COPD.
  • Differences between airway microbiome between asthmatic patients and healthy subjects and of studies of relationships between environmental.
  • Microbiota, gut microbiota, immune function, and asthma development.


Gladys Chompre-Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology and Biotechnology
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto, Ponce, PR



Michael Bailey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Microbial Infection/Immunity Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Website

Stress-Microbiota Composition-Infections Processes

His lab studies:

  • Biological mechanisms that link psychological factors to responsiveness to infectious diseases.
  • Impact of the stress response on colonic epithelial cells and lamina propria leukocytes
  • Impact that the intestinal microbiota has on the local mucosal immune system.
  •  How psychological stressors changes the community structure of microbiota in the intestines.


Christopher Lowry, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Website

Host-Associated Microbiota and Mental Health

His lab studies:

  • Neural mechanisms underlying stress-related physiology and emotional behavior with a focus on the role of serotonergic systems.
  • Relationships among the MoBE (microbiome of the built environment), host-associated microbiota, and mental health.