The 7th Annual Translational Microbiome Conference is Coming Back in Spring 2021. 

Please check back in the coming weeks for additional details.

Virtual Conference Agenda

ALL TIMES Eastern Daylight Time 

DAY ONE - Tuesday, April 21, 2020

9:50 am Chair’s Opening Remarks
Mollie Roth, J.D., Executive Director, The Microbiome Coalition

10:00 am Designing Living Diagnostics and Therapeutics for the Microbiome
We can engineer the microbiome to report on the health of the gut microbiome and report on the presence of pathological states such as inflammation. These sensor bacteria can also be engineered to deliver therapeutics on demand. We also use targeted bacteriophage to shape and program the gut microbiome. In doing so, we have developed novel targeted therapeutic strategies.
Pamela Silver, Ph.D., Elliot T. and Onie H. Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School

10:30 am Targeted Delivery and Controlled Release of Bacteriophages and Bacteriocins
This talk will present scalable approaches available for micro- and nano- encapsulation of bacteriophages and bacteriocins. In vitro and in vivo results from studies in mice and poultry will be presented showing the benefits of targeted delivery and controlled release of biotherapeutics to improve bioavailability and overcome environmental stresses including gastric acidity and enzymatic degradation.
Danish Malik, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Chemical Engineering Department, Loughborough University

11:00 am Challenges in Commercially Developing Phage Therapies to Target Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Increasing prevalence and severity of multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections requires novel antibacterial strategies. One possibility is a renewed approach to ‘phage therapy’. This presentation concerns the discovery of phages (bacteria-specific viruses) that associate with virulence factors of target bacterial pathogens. Dr. Turner will present empirical support for this hypothesis, and will showcase results of FDA approved emergency treatment in humans, harnessing various phages that drive evolutionary trade-offs in bacterial pathogens.
Paul Turner, Ph.D., Rachel Carson Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Yale University

11:30 am Use of Phage Cocktail in Chronic Disease Indications (non-CME presentation)
In this presentation, Mr. Oron will discuss the following:
♦ A clinical trial for evaluating BX001 for acne prone skin
♦ BX002 targeting a novel proinflammatory target in inflammatory bowel disease
Assaf Oron, Chief Business Officer, BiomX

12:00 pm Lunch Break

12:45 pm Challenges in the Use of Phage as Treatment Options as well as Elucidating Their Role in Disease (non-CME presentation)
Bacteriophages, viruses specific to bacteria, regulate trillions of bacteria found in the human gut which constitute the microbiome in a complex dance that involves a molecular signaling that is only just beginning to be revealed. EpitopeRX is working to build a platform for the use of the knowledge of bacteriophage for a range of constructs - from unique vaccines to funding research into phage-bacterial etiology of several chronic diseases.
Jonathan Merrill, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Epitope Rx

1:15 pm Viral Metagenomics: Identifying the Needles in the Haystack and Unlocking Opportunities for Discovery (non-CME presentation)
Applications of phage therapy and recent publications highlighting the discovery potential inherent in the human virome and have focused new attention on the field of viral metagenomics. From identifying risk factors and discovering potential biomarkers to creating novel and highly targeted therapies, viruses represent a largely untapped resource for discovery, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Novel sample collection strategies, sequencing approaches, and analytical tools will help to drive discovery in this space.
Emily Hollister, VP Information Technologies and Analytics, Diversigen

1:45 pm Panel Discussion: Hurdles and Challenges in Developing Phage Therapies (non-CME panel)
Moderator: Mollie Roth, J.D., Executive Director, The Microbiome Coalition
Panelists:
Danish Malik, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Chemical Engineering Department, Loughborough University
Paul Turner, Ph.D., Rachel Carson Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
Assaf Oron, Chief Business Officer, BiomX
Emily Hollister, VP Information Technologies and Analytics, Diversigen

2:30 pm A Microbiome Platform for the Development of Personalized Nutrition and Therapeutics (non-CME presentation)
Over the past decade DuPont Nutrition and Biosciences has built the expertise and technology to modulate the microbiome through leadership in probiotic and prebiotic development, enzyme engineering, clinical studies, and product commercialization. DuPont’s core competencies in microbiome science will be introduced along with key initiatives positioning DuPont as a strong partner and innovator in the field of microbes for nutrition, health, and wellness.
Charles R. Budinoff, Ph.D., Strain Discovery and Microbiome Science Leader, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences

3:00 pm Afternoon Break - Visit Exhibit Gallery and Scientific Poster Session

3:30 pm Gut Microbiome Perturbation is Associated with Vaccine Hypo-Responsiveness (non-CME presentation)
Emerging evidence suggests that antibiotics have direct and indirect effects on mucosal and systemic immunity. However, the microbiome-mediated effects of antibiotic use on vaccine responses are not fully characterized. Using translational pre-clinical models including germ-free and antibiotic treated mice, we show that microbiome perturbation leads to reduced vaccine outcome. Current mechanistic studies are aimed at investigating microbial and immune pathways that are differentially modulated in germ-free & antibiotic treated mice. An increasingly detailed understanding of host and microbiome-derived factors that are critical for optimal outcome of vaccines will significantly influence the future design of vaccines & immunotherapies.
Gokul Swaminathan, Ph.D., Associate Principal Scientist, Merck Exploratory Science Center

4:00 pm Harnessing the Power of Metabolomics for Microbiome Analysis (non-CME presentation)
Metabolomics can deliver uniquely valuable biological insights in microbiome research that are otherwise unseen through other technologies. Unlike genomic sequencing and other ‘omics, metabolomics reveals in vivo microbiome function before, during or after therapeutic intervention, to better inform drug development decisions. Metabolomics allows researchers to characterize microbial-derived biochemicals within the gut, as well as those that enter the host bloodstream, potentially crossing the gut-brain axis and into other organs. This talk will review recent advances in metabolomics technologies that have led to improved understanding of the role of the microbiome in human health and disease.
Priya Ramamoorthy, Ph.D., Senior Study Director, Discovery and Translational Sciences, Metabolon

4:30 pm End of Day's Sessions


 

DAY TWO - Wednesday, April 22, 2020

10:15 am Translational Microbiome Applications Using Next-Generation Sequencing (non-CME presentation)
Profiling the microbiome using NGS technology is revealing more and more information about how microbes inside the human body influence health and disease. In this webinar we will review examples of translational microbiome research that have led to improvements in cancer drug response, cardiovascular health and potential obesity intervention. We will also present how the latest NGS techniques help reduce representational bias in microbiome data and the computational approaches that are used to correlate microbial composition with phenotypic traits.
Mehdi Keddache, Ph.D., Sr. Sales Specialist, Microbiology, Illumina

10:45 am Optimized Microbiome Workflow: Towards Microbiome-Based Diagnostics & Therapeutics Solutions (non-CME presentation)
The human gut microbiome has been described as the most complex ecosystem on earth. As microbiome research evolves, more and more health conditions are being linked to an unbalanced microbial composition. As microbiome research gradually moved from association to causation, the complexity increases as we move from genome to transcriptome, proteome, metabolome and beyond. Because the methods and tools to make measurements of the microbiome vary widely, results produced by different laboratories are often not comparable. Standards and validated protocols are crucial for gaining a full picture of the microbiome’s basic features, as well as translating it into therapeutic strategies.
Michal Daniely, Ph.D., Research and Development Director, MilliporeSigma

11:15 am BARDA DRIVe: Partnering with the USG on Health Security Innovations (non-CME presentation)
BARDA provides a comprehensive integrated portfolio approach to the advanced R&D and acquisition of medical countermeasures (vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics) against public health emergencies that involve CBRN threats, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases. Ms. Boston’s most recent work with BARDA’s Division of Research, Innovation and Ventures (DRIVe) aims to revolutionize the current state of health security products and technologies by supporting promising, early-stage innovations with a venture-capital approach and commercial best practices.
Donna Boston, Program Manager, Division of Research, Innovation & Ventures (DRIVe), Biomedical Advanced R&D Authority (BARDA), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response (ASPR), US Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS)

11:30 am The Use of Wild Mouse Models to Further Microbiome Research
Laboratory mice are paramount for understanding basic biological phenomena but also have limitations in preclinical studies. Based on the concept that natural microbiota co-evolved with their respective hosts under evolutionary pressure of common environmental immune stimuli, Dr. Rehermann will describe and discuss new mouse models that combine the natural microbiota of wild mice with the tractable genetics of laboratory mice. Wild mouse microbiota are stable over multiple generations in the laboratory mouse colonies, promote host fitness and disease resistance and increase the translatability of immunological results from preclinical studies to humans.
Barbara Rehermann, MD, Section Chief, Immunology Section, Liver Diseases Branch, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health

12:00 Lunch Break

12:45 pm Targeting the Brain-Gut-Microbiome Axis by ImmuneBiotics, a New Therapeutic Avenue for Management of Autoimmunity (non-CME presentation)
This presentation will navigate through the translational, clinical, and manufacturing challenges of microbiome-based therapeutics. Dr. Lavasani will cover the following:
♦ Microbiota dysbiosis and intestinal barrier dysfunction in Irritable Bowel Syndrome and multiple sclerosis
♦ Brain-gut-microbiome axis; potential therapeutic targets and probiotic treatments
♦ Designing multi-targeted therapeutic microbial consortium; translational success for GutMagnificTM in management of IBS
♦ ImmuneBioticsTM, new generation of probiotic products designed to boost the immunotherapy treatments
Shahram Lavasani, Ph.D., Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Scientific Officer, Immune Biotech

1:15 pm Standards for Microbiome and Metagenomics
In spite of the huge potential impact of microbiome science, current measurement capabilities are insufficient, particularly for translating discoveries and correlations observed in the lab into commercially viable products and services that improve our quality of life. Data are difficult to compare between experimenters, laboratories, or institutions. Emerging capabilities (e.g., next generation sequencing, metabolomics) are new and not fully characterized for microbiome investigations. Reference samples (i.e., for calibration or quality control) that mimic the complexity of naturally occurring communities are not available. Bioinformatic analysis packages and reference databases remain incomplete.
Scott Jackson, Ph.D., Group Leader, Complex Microbial Systems, NIST (National Institute of Standards & Technology)

1:45 pm Afternoon Break - Visit Exhibit Gallery and Scientific Poster Session

2:15 pm Panel Session: Challenges and Solutions in the Development and Application of Microbiome Standards (non-CME panel)
While research on the microbiome has provided valuable insights into how microbial communities shape human health and disease, there are still many outstanding questions left to be answered. Join us for a collaborative discussion on the hurdles that microbiome researchers face during each stage of the workflow, challenges and solutions in the development and application of microbiome standards, and current gaps and future trends in microbiome research.
Moderator: Briana Benton, Technical Manager, American Type Culture Collection (ATCC)
Panelists:
Nick Greenfield, Founder and CEO, One Codex
Sam Minot, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, Microbiome Research Initiative, Vaccine & Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Tasha Santiago-Rodriguez, Ph.D., Microbiome Discovery Analyst, Diversigen
Scott Jackson, Ph.D., Group Leader, Complex Microbial Systems, NIST (National Institute of Standards & Technology)

3:00 pm Gut Microbiome and Intestinal Permeability as the Novel Criteria for Toxicological Risk Assessment
Exposure to ingested xenobiotics including drugs, as well as, chemical additives/contaminants on edible items could lead to dysbiosis in the gastrointestinal tract. A comprehensive understanding of the toxicologic effects of such exposure on the intestinal microbiome is crucial when evaluating the safety of these products since they play an important role in maintaining health. In this presentation, Dr. Khare will discuss the challenges and opportunities to establish gut microbiota, intestinal permeability - xenobiotic interactions as novel criteria to include in toxicological risk assessments.
Sangeeta Khare, Ph.D., Research Microbiologist, Division of Microbiology, National Center for Toxicological Research, US Food and Drug Administration

3:30 pm End of Day's Sessions


 

DAY THREE - Thursday, April 23, 2020

10:00 am Development, Validation, and Unique Applications of Species-specific Microbiome Assay & Database that Together Provide True Pan-Domain Molecular Diagnostics
Garth Ehrlich, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Professor of Otolayngology - Head & Neck Surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine

10:30 am Data Driven Design of Microbiome-Based Therapeutics and Diagnostics Using Gene-Level Metagenomics
The human microbiome contains an incredibly diverse collection of microbes which can have a large impact on host health and disease. Surveys of the microbiome have identified broad associations with disease, but have yet to robustly identify individual strains with probiotic potential. Dr. Minot will discuss innovations in gene-level metagenomic analysis which may enable an entirely new approach to the design of microbiome-based therapeutics and diagnostics.
Sam Minot, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, Microbiome Research Initiative, Vaccine & Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

11:00 am A Survivor’s Perspective: The Bigger Picture of the Patient Journey
Too often, manufacturers of therapeutics forget that the patient is more than simply someone taking a pill, but a person on an often long and arduous journey; a journey in which a therapeutics manufacturer can and often should become more than simply a supplier, but a trusted partner. In this presentation, Nancy C. Caralla, Founder of the C Diff Foundation and three-time C. difficile infection survivor, will share first-hand knowledge of one patient's journey that will bring needed perspective to the audience and new insights that should be front of mind for anyone developing new microbiome therapies.
Alba Muhlfeld, NE Volunteer Health Advocate Coordinator, C Diff Foundation

11:30 am Considerations for Gut-Based Brain Research
Much research in neuroscience has neglected the rest of the body, until recently, when the “gut-brain axis” has come to light. From the perspective of a neuroscientist, this talk will cover considerations in clinical trials and basic science research to incorporate questions about the gut to more holistically assess neurological disease. Lessons learned from our research on Alzheimer's disease will serve as a concrete reference.
Amy Feehan, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Ochsner Health System

12:00 Lunch Break

12:45 pm Gut Microbiota Induces Anti-Tumor Immunity Restricting Tumor Growth – The RNF5-UPR-Inulin Journey
This presentation will highlight studies in which we have demonstrated the importance of the ubiquitin ligase RNF5 in the control of gut microbiota composition with a concomitant effect on anti-tumor immunity and tumor growth inhibition. The role of Unfolded Protein Response in RNF5-mediated changes in gut microbiota and anti-tumor immunity will be discussed, and finally, the identification of prebiotics that are capable of inducing anti-tumor immunity and restrict tumor growth.
Ze'ev Ronai, Ph.D., Professor, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

1:15 pm Gut Microbiota Mediates the Vascular Beneficial Effects of Dietary Anthocyanins
Clinical studies support the cardiovascular benefits of berry anthocyanins. This presentation will focus on how dietary blueberry anthocyanins shift the composition and functional potential of the gut microbiome and improve vascular health in preclinical models. This presentation will also discuss the role of the gut microbiome and anthocyanin-derived microbial metabolites in mediating the vascular effects of blueberries.
Anandh Babu Pon Velayutham, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Nutrition & Integrative Physiology, University of Utah

1:45 pm Innovation Station: Microbiome Research on the International Space Station (non-CME presentation)
Rachel Clemens, Ph.D., Commercial Innovation Manager, Life Science Lead, ISS US National Lab, Center for Advancement in Science in Space

2:15 pm Afternoon Break - Visit Exhibit Gallery and Scientific Poster Session

2:45 pm Long-Term Benefit of Microbiota Transfer Therapy on Autism Symptoms and Gut Microbiome
Over the last couple of decades, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have become substantially prevalent, but the etiology of these complex neurobiological disorders remain poorly understood. Accumulating evidence revealed that children with ASD have disrupted gut microbiome, which suggests that modifying it is a potential route to improve ASD behavioral symptoms. Thus, we designed and performed an open-label trial of Microbiota Transfer Therapy (MTT) that combined antibiotics and fecal microbiota transplant. Notably, children with ASD experienced significant improvements in GI symptoms and autism-related symptoms, even two years after treatment was completed. Their gut microbiome was transformed toward a healthy one, including significant increases in bacterial diversity and relative abundances of Bifidobacteria and Prevotella. Our observations support MTT as a promising safe and efficient approach to change the gut microbiome and improve GI and behavioral symptoms of ASD.
Dae-Wook Kang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Toledo

3:15 pm Reverse Translation in the Microbiome: Leveraging Clinical Data to Identify Microbes Driving Patient Outcomes (non-CME presentation)
Data from whole-community microbial transfers in patients can provide proof-of-concept to retire risk early in the development of novel microbial therapies. Leveraging data from thousands of patients, Finch has developed a Human First Discovery platform to rapidly translate clinical data into new products in diverse therapeutic areas ranging from ulcerative colitis to autism spectrum disorder.
Sonia Timberlake, Ph.D., Vice President of Research, Finch Therapeutics

3:45 pm A Translational Approach to Exploiting the Gut-Brain Axis in Autism Spectrum Disorder (non-CME presentation)
This talk will present the approach Axial Biotherapeutics is taking to develop novel treatments for problematic symptoms that occur in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Axial is evaluating AB-2004 in a clinical setting based on a clear mechanism of action hypothesis supported by translationally relevant preclinical data.
A. Stewart Campbell, Ph.D., Vice President, Early Stage Development, Axial Biotherapeutics

4:15 pm End of Day's Sessions


 

DAY FOUR - Friday, April 24, 2020

10:30 am Lupus and Dysbiosis in the Gut Microbiome: Cause or Effect or Both?
Throughout our lives we are immersed in, and colonized by, immense and complex microbial communities. Yet, at times imbalances within microbiota contribute to metabolic and immune regulatory abnormalities that underlie the development of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Recent progress in investigations of the microbiome are beginning to illuminate aspects of the pathogenesis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and may suggest that interconnections with specific disease-associated patterns of dysbiosis within gut communities could be bidirectional and mutually reinforcing.
Gregg Silverman, MD, Professor of Medicine & Pathology, New York University School of Medicine

11:00 am Science to Market: From a Bacterial Strain to a Skincare Product (non-CME presentation)
The scientific community continues to demonstrate the functional role of the human gut and skin microbiome as an inspirational source for future therapeutics, food supplements and cosmetics. In recent years, skin has evolved as one of the most extensively described tissue regarding microbiome diversities linked to host physiology, age, environmental exposure, and diseases. Moreover, the role of the skin microbiome has been validated by clinical results with respect to atopic dermatitis, acne, dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Atopic xerosis and dandruff are both sub-inflammatory skin disorders driven by immune dysfunctions and are characterized from early stages by itch and delay in healing. As recently described, these two disorders are associated with specific dysbiosis of the skin microbiome with altered microbial diversity characterized by excess of Staphylococcus spp. or Malassezia spp., respectively. Recent research and new results of the clinical evaluation of skin microbiome- based traitements with bacterial strains on these disorders are discussed and will serve as guidance for scientists from the industrial and academic community to create new generation of microbiome-targeted skincare with predictable modes of action and consistent clinical outcomes.
Cécile Clavaud, Ph.D., Project Leader in Skin Microbiome, L'Oreal Advanced Research, L'Oreal

11:30 am Getting Your Bugs in a Row: Preparing Your IP for Investment (non-CME panel)
Intellectual Property (IP) is only one of the things that investors look at when deciding to invest. How important is IP to investors? What questions can you expect to be asked of your IP? We will also explore what can be done in advance to make it easier to clearly and efficiently demonstrate to investors that your IP adequately underpins the business seeking investment (and how this can be done when funds are tight). The panel will consist of investors, microbiome professionals that are experienced at obtaining large and small level investments, and those that have assisted investors to review IP portfolios as part of pre-investment due diligence.
Moderator: Craig Thomson, Partner, European Patent Attorney, HGF Limited
Panelists:
Denise Kelly, Ph.D., Investment Advisor, Seventure Partners
Nicole Stakleff, Partner, US Patent Attorney, Pepper Hamilton
Phil Strandwitz, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Holobiome, Inc.
Lana Gladstein, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, Arranta Bio
Erik Spek, Head of Legal Affairs and IP, Vedanta Biosciences

12:15 pm Lunch Break

1:00 pm A New Era in Microbiome Research: The Prospector Array Based Microbial Cultivation and Screening Platform (non-CME presentation)
Deep insights into microbiome structure and function are the foundation for microbial applications in human health, agriculture, environment, and industry. Antiquated, labor intensive methodologies currently used to cultivate microbes are a significant barrier to access microbes from microbiome samples for research and product development. The Prospector platform with its highly dense array of > 6000 nanoscale cultivation chambers integrated with an instrument that automates the cultivation workflow can enable researchers to isolate 1000s of microbes in parallel for microbiome analysis at an unprecedented scale.
Peter Christey, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder, General Automation Technology Labs (GALT)

1:30 pm Immunotherapeutic Approaches to Selective Modification of Microbiome Structure and Function (non-CME presentation)
This presentation will highlight the ways that conventional antibody science has advanced conventional organ/system research and then outline ways in which we can now intervene quite specifically in dysbiosis-driven pathogenesis. Several examples of emerging discrete pathways that are enlightening us will be presented, followed by a case study of SMB’s target-specific approach to a travelers’ diarrhea prevention drug, TravelShield™, which is illustrative of the overall technology. The versatility of IgY technology as a drug discovery platform will be demonstrated for SMB’s three new drug candidates targeting, in addition to Travelers’ Diarrhea, colorectal cancer and the SARS-CoV-2 virus causal of COVID-19.
Julius Goepp, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Scaled Microbiomics

2:00 pm Data-Driven Personalized Nutrition to Modulate Gut Microbiome Functions: Towards Prevention of Chronic Diseases (non-CME presentation)
Gut microbiome dysbiosis has been studied in the context of taxonomy, but research in this area has yielded very little actionable information. Viome focuses on the microbial functional dysbiosis, which we have tied to several chronic diseases. Not only is the functional dysbiosis more predictive of chronic diseases, it is very actionable. Microbial functions are mostly determined by the molecules in the foods we consume. Therefore, microbial functions can be modulated by adjusting each person's diet to support healthy microbial functions, and shut down those associated with disease. Viome's systems biology platform and results from several large studies will be presented.
Momo Vuyisch, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Viome

2:30 pm End of Conference

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