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The most prominent scientists
and researchers in the microbiota field
will gather in this conference to share
their knowledge and cutting-edge discoveries.

Adam Burgener
Dr. Adam Burgener Adam Burgener is an endowed Professor and Director of the Center for Global Health and Diseases at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Burgener completed his PhD in Microbiology at the University of Manitoba, Canada and his post-doctoral work in infectious disease at the National Microbiology Lab in Canada, which focused on HIV transmission in women living in Africa. His lab specializes in proteomics and systems biology to study the role of mucosal immunity and the microbiome in susceptibility, pathogenesis, and treatment of infectious disease. His lab works with human cohorts in Africa, Canada, and the United States. Dr. Burgener holds research funding as principal investigator from both the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which includes two CIHR Team Grants for microbiome, cervical cancer, and HIV research. He has received national scientific achievement awards in Canada from the Canadian Association for HIV Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Alessandra Borgognone
Alessandra Borgognone is a postdoctoral researcher in the Microbial Genomics group at the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, with a background in computational biology and microbiology. She received a MSc in Biology (University of Bologna, Italy, 2012) and Bioinformatics (University of Skövde, Sweden, 2019) and a PhD in Biotechnology (Public University of Navarre, 2017). Her previous scientific work focused on characterizing the transposon activity and impact of epigenetic and transcriptional (small non-coding-RNA and mRNA) regulation in basidiomycetes fungi using molecular biology techniques and multi-omics approaches (Public University of Navarre, Spain and University of California-Los Angeles, UCLA, EEUU). She was also involved in microbiome studies (16S rRNA sequencing and development of biological databases) with contributions including sample processing and data analysis (Molecular Biology Clinical Institute, IKMB, Kiel, Germany and Sequentia Biotech, Barcelona, Spain). Currently, she investigates the role of the intestinal and vaginal microbiome in the pathogenesis of HIV infection and cancer by integrating multi-omics datasets. In addition, she is involved in research projects evaluating the potential role of the gut microbiota in immunization strategies and interaction with host immune signatures and clinical variables.
Alessio Fasano
W. Allan Walker Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Division Chief. Center for Celiac Research and Treatment Director. Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center Director. Associate Chief for Basic, Clinical and Translational Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital. USA.
Alex Mira
Principal investigator of the Oral Microbiome Laboratory at the FISABIO Foundation. Principal investigator in several publicly-funded projects to study the bacterial community inhabiting the oral cavity of healthy and diseased individuals. Dr Alex Mira obtained his doctorate at Oxford University on bacterial symbionts and evolution in 1999. He then was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to carry out post-doctoral research in the USA in the field of bacterial genomics and a second post-doc at Uppsala University (Sweden) working on microarray technology and bioinformatics. After 9 years abroad, he returned to Spain with the Ramón y Cajal repatriation program in 2003 and initiated his own research group working on the genomics and metagenomics of oral bacteria. In 2009, he was awarded the “Jaime Ferran” National Award for Research in Microbiology, the Biomedal Award in 2012, the UPSANA Research Award in 2016 and the FIPSE National Award for Health Innovation in 2018, the latter for the discovery of Streptococcus dentisani and its development as a probiotic. He is currently the principal investigator of the Oral Microbiome Laboratory at the FISABIO Foundation in Spain, where he has applied metagenomics and next-generation sequencing technology to the study of oral diseases, discovering the presence of bacteria which prevent the formation of cavities, halitosis and gum disease, as well as to the study of bacteria from breast milk, saliva, stomach and the respiratory tract. He is the principal investigator in several publicly-funded projects to study the bacterial community inhabiting the oral cavity of healthy and diseased individuals. He is the inventor of five patents, including one for the use of the new species S. dentisani as a probiotic against tooth decay, currently under the third clinical trial, and another one for the use of nitrate-reducing oral bacteria as probiotics for oral and systemic health, including its beneficial effects against hypertension.
Alexandra Zhernakova
Professor of Genome and Exposome in Department of Genetics, UMCG, and has a strong track records in genetics of immune disorders, and in the analysis of the gut microbiome. Her group is focused on understanding the complex interaction of host genetics, environmental factors and intestinal bacteria in relation to aging, autoimmune diseases, gut and metabolic health. Her group have performed several large metagenomics studies in Dutch population cohorts and identified more than 100 factors playing a role in shaping the human gut microbiome. She is also leading the MiBioGen consortium – an international consortium aiming at understanding the role of genetics in microbiome composition. She is involved in organization of the Lifelines-NEXT cohort: a prospective cohort of 1500 babies born from participants of Lifelines. Her research is funded by the ERC starting grant for studying the development of gut virome and microbiome in babies; a VIDI grant from Dutch Scientific Society for the studies of breast milk microbiome in Lifelines-NEXT, and is a PI in the Gravitation grant ExposomeNL, which explores the role of environment and microbiome in human health.
Ami Bhatt
Genetics, Stanford Medical School, Palo Alto, CA, United States.
André Marette
Dr. Marette is Professor of Medicine and researcher at the Heart and Lung Institute and holds a research Chair on the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and cardiovascular complications of diabetes. Dr. Marette's research has advanced the understanding of the physiological and molecular mechanisms of inflammation implicating the microbiome, and opened new possibilities for prevention and treatment and metabolic diseases. He has published over 260 papers, reviews and book chapters and was invited to give more than a hundred lectures at various national & international conferences in the last 10 years. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for the Am J Physiol: Endo & Metab. and has authored two books in the last few years. Dr. Marette has received several awards for his work including the prestigious Charles Best Award and Lectureship from the University of Toronto for his overall contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge in the field of diabetes.
Anne Salonen
Dr. Anne Salonen is a principal investigator and adjunct professor at University of Helsinki, Finland. She is also a deputy director of the Human Microbiome Research Program at the Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki. Dr. Salonen has multidisciplinary training in biosciences and PhD in microbiology (on zoonotic RNA-viruses, 2004). Since 2007 she has been studying human microbiomes and her current research is focused on the composition and activity of the intestinal microbiota in health and disease, especially in early life. She is specifically interested on the interactions between diet, intestinal microbiota and health, and she is a pioneer on identifying gut microbes as drivers of individual dietary responses. In addition to gut microbes, Dr. Salonen’s research also entails female reproductive track (vagina, endometrium) micro- and mycobiota in relation to clinical outcomes in gynecology and obstetrics.
Arnau Vich Vila
Arnau Vich Vila is a postdoctoral researcher and a computational biologist at the University Medical Centre of Groningen (The Netherlands). His previous scientific work focused on identifying gut microbiome changes in patients with gastrointestinal disease, particularly inflammatory bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome, via the integration of multi-omics data. He also has explored the relation between environmental exposures, such as medication and diet, and the gut microbial composition in population cohorts. Currently, he investigates potential host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions within the gut ecosystem by integrating metagenomic and metabolomic datasets.
Bernat Ollé
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vedanta Biosciences.
Bhagirath Singh
Dr. Bhagirath Singh is Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. He has served as the inaugural scientific director of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity and is a founding member of the International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC). His area of research includes modulation of autoimmunity by microbiota and regulatory T cells.
Bonaventura Clotet
Director of the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute. Head of the Infectious Diseases Department at the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital. President of the Fight AIDS Foundation.
Brice LeFrancois
Dr. Brice Le François holds a Maîtrise in Molecular Biology from Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa. He has over 15 years of experience in academic research across a wide range of fields, including cancer and neurobiology, and extensive expertise in molecular biology. Since joining the R&D team at DNA Genotek in 2017, he has acquired a broad knowledge of the human microbiome and worked with most sample types (gut, oral, vaginal and skin). Dr. Le François expertise is in microbiome sample collection and processing (including low biomass sites), DNA/RNA extraction and analysis (bacterial, fungal and viral), and experimental design, protocol/assay development
Charu Kaushic
Charu Kaushic, PhD, is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-Institute of Infection and Immunity, serving in this role since July 1, 2018. Dr. Kaushic is also a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Medicine in McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. In her role as the Scientific Director for CIHR-III, Dr. Kaushic is responsible for making decisions for CIHR strategic investments in the area of infection and immunity, nationally and internationally. She also represents CIHR and Government of Canada at various national and international forums related to infectious diseases. In this capacity she serves as a Chair of GloPID-R, a global consortium of funders in pandemic preparedness and emergency response research. She also represents Canada on the JPIAMR Management Board. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been closely involved in shaping CIHR’s research response to the pandemic and is serving on Canada’s COVID-19 National Immunity Task Force. Dr. Kaushic has a PhD in Immunology and did her post-doctoral training in mucosal immunology. Since her faculty appointment in McMaster in 2002, she has done extensive teaching and training in immunology and built an interdisciplinary research program in women’s reproductive health, specifically basic, clinical and translational research examining susceptibility and immune responses to sexually transmitted viruses, HIV-1 and HSV-2. Prior to joining CIHR, Dr. Kaushic’s research program was funded by CIHR, CFI, CANFAR and OHTN. She has received numerous national and international awards including a Rockefeller post-doctoral fellowship, CIHR New Investigator Award, OHTN Research Scholar award, OHTN Research Chair award and the 2017 American Journal of Reproductive Immunology Research Excellence Award.
Christopher James Stewart
Dr Christopher Stewart is a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Research Fellow at Newcastle University, UK. He has researched the early life microbiome in health and disease for over 10 years, publishing >70 peer-reviewed manuscripts. His lab is focused on microbial-host interaction in the gut of infants born premature (<32 weeks gestation), utilising multi-omic analysis of clinical samples (e.g., microbiome, human milk oligosaccharide (HMO), and metabolomic profiling) in combination with basic microbiology and an experimental organoid co-culture system. Within preterm infants his group are focused on necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) and late onset sepsis (LOS), where his group have recently shown that higher concentration of one specific HMO, disialyllacto-N-tetraose, can module the infant gut microbiome and is associated with a significant reduction in NEC risk. Further mechanistic work is on-going to better understand diet-microbe-host interaction, with the ambition to develop novel disease biomarkers and targeted therapeutic interventions to promote health in preterm infants.
Claudia Herrera
Claudia Herrera de Guise, MD, MCMS, PhD Attending Physician at the Gastroenterology Department of Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron. Barcelona, Spain.
Claudio Hidalgo
Claudio obtained his PhD at the University of Oviedo (2015, Oviedo, Spain) (performed at IPLA-CSIC) focused on probiotics and microbial genetics, after his MS in Biotechnology and BS in Biology. He has worked in several international organizations across Europe, in the public and private sector, including four years at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, USA). Over his scientific carrier, he received various fellowships and awards, has published numerous scientific manuscripts and communications to international meetings, and he has developed and licensed several patents. Claudio is a co-founder of Microviable Therapeutics and joined the company as thr former CEO in 2021 to lead the company towards the next level with a strategic vision focused on microbiota-based biotherapeutic development.
Curtis Huttenhower
Professor in Biostatistics and Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an Associate Member at the Broad Institute. He co-directs the Harvard Chan Center for the Microbiome in Public Health and the HSPH Microbiome Analysis Core. He participated extensively in the NIH Human Microbiome Project and co-leads the "HMP2" Center for Characterizing the gut microbial ecosystem in IBD and the Human Microbiome Bioactives Resource. His lab focuses on computational methods for functional analysis of microbial communities. This includes systems biology reconstructions integrating metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, and other microbial community 'omics, the human microbiome in autoimmune disease such as IBD, and its potential as a biomarker and route for therapeutic intervention.
Daria Hazuda
Vice President, Infectious Diseases Discovery and Chief Scientific Officer, MRL Cambridge Exploratory Science Center – Merck. Ph.D. in biochemistry.
Dirk Hadrich
Policy and Program Officer, Health research, Personalised Medicine, Human Microbiome, IHMC co-chair, European Commission. Belgium.
Elena Verdú
Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine. McMaster University, Canada. Canada Research Chair in Nutrition, Inflammation and Microbiota Axenic Gnotobiotic Unit, Director.
Eran Segal
Eran Segal is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science, heading a lab with a multi-disciplinary team of computational biologists and experimental scientists in the area of Computational and Systems biology. His group has extensive experience in machine learning, computational biology, and analysis of heterogeneous high-throughput genomic data. His research focuses on Microbiome, Nutrition, Genetics, and their effect on health and disease. His aim is to develop personalized medicine based on big data from human cohorts. Prof. Segal published over 150 publications, and received several awards and honors for his work, including the Overton prize, awarded annually by the International Society for Bioinformatics (ICSB) to one scientist for outstanding accomplishments in computational biology, and the Michael Bruno award. He was also elected as an EMBO member and as a member of the young Israeli academy of science. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Prof. Segal developed models for analyzing the dynamics of the pandemic and served as an advisor to the governments of Israel and Luxembourg. Before joining the Weizmann Institute, Prof. Segal held an independent research position at Rockefeller University, New York.
Eric Smith
Eric Smith, PhD, is the lead bioinformatician for annotation at Diversigen, Inc, where he’s been since January 2020. Prior to joining Diversigen, Eric received his PhD in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics from the University of California – Riverside, where he studied the evolution and population genetics of mosquito vectors of diseases such as malaria, zika, chikungunya, yellow fever, and dengue fever. He then completed post-doctoral studies at Indiana University, studying the evolution of a protective symbiont of honey bees.
Eytan Wine
Dr. Wine is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Physiology, Clinician Scientist, and Pediatric Gastroenterologist at the University of Alberta in Canada. Originally from Israel, he completed his peds GI Fellowship at SickKids, Toronto and earned his PhD in Cellular Microbiology at the University of Toronto. His clinical interest is Pediatric IBD and his laboratory research focuses on involvement of intestinal bacteria and nutrition in development of intestinal inflammation, enabling translational bench-to-bedside research. Dr. Wine is a co-lead on a Canadian Microbiome Team Grant, co-principal investigator of Canadian Children IBD Network, member of the Dietitians of ECCO (D-ECCO) Committee, and is on the Executive of the ESPGHAN Porto IBD Group and Chair of the Porto Research Committee.
Francisco Guarner
Senior Researcher at the Digestive System Unit, Vall d’Hebron Research Institute. International Human Microbiome Consortium Steering Committee Member. President of the Probiotics and Prebiotics Spanish Society Board. World Gastroenterology Organization Guidelines Committee Member.
Gary D Wu
Ferdinand G. Weisbrod Professor in Gastroenterology, Director of the Penn Center for Nutritional Science and Medicine, co-Director of the PennCHOP Microbiome Program, and co-Director of the NIH funded Center for Molecular Studies of Digestive and Liver Diseases, at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Geneviève Boily-Larouche
Dr. Geneviève Boily-Larouche is the Assistant Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research Institute of Infection and Immunity (CIHR-III). CIHR-III provides scientific leadership in Canada, and supports research in the areas of infectious disease and the body's immune system through a broad portfolio of funding programs and capacity-building initiatives. Prior to joining CIHR-III, Dr. Boily-Larouche worked at the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases, where she led the HIV & Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections portfolio. There, she facilitated the use of evidence and emerging research to inform public health program and policy. Dr. Boily-Larouche obtained her PhD in Virology and Immunology at the Université de Montréal in 2012, and completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Manitoba in 2016. Her research focused on the immune correlates of protection against HIV, within a Global Health context.
Harry Sokol
Professor in the Gastroenterology department of the Saint Antoine Hospital (APHP, Paris, France) and head of the Gut Microbiota and Immunity lab (INSERM CRSA UMRS 938, Sorbonne Université, Paris and INRA Micalis). Harry Sokol is an internationally recognized expert in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and in gut microbiota fields. He published over 180 papers on these topics in major journals (including Gut, Gastroenterology, Cell Metabolism, Cell Host & Microbe, Nature communication, Nature Medicine). His work on the role of the gut microbiota in IBD pathogenesis led to landmark papers describing the IBD-associated dysbiosis (imbalance in gut microbiota composition) and the role of the pivotal commensal bacteria Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in gut homeostasis and in IBD. Currently, his work focuses on deciphering the gut microbiota-host interactions in health and diseases (particularly IBD), in order to better understand their role in pathogenesis and develop innovative treatments. Harry Sokol is exploring particularly the role of the microbiota in tryptophan metabolism for which he is the recipient of an ERC grant.
Heloise Breton
Heloise joined DNA Genotek in 2015 and moved to the microbiome team in 2016. Using her years of experience working with researchers in human genomics and microbiome, she currently manages novel microbiome product initiatives. Prior to joining DNA Genotek, she completed a PhD in applied bioscience at Ontario Tech University studying microbial communities for forensics. She has previous experience as an environmental microbiologist and is a member of the Canadian College of Microbiologists.
Henrik Bjørn
H. Bjørn Nielsen, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at Clinical-Microbiomics, has since 2008 been a frontrunner in the field of microbiome research authoring a series of noteworthy scientific papers in the microbiome field, counting 21 papers in Nature and Cell journals. Among these is his pioneering work on co-abundance binning for defining metagenomic species, and in 2016 a Nature paper that linked microbiome, serum metabolome and clinical data in pre-diabetic Danes. Bjørn joined Clinical-Microbiomics in 2016. There he leads the science and innovation and continues to development new analysis concepts and frameworks with his team of expert bioinformaticians and biologists. His current focus is applying machine learning and ultra-high-resolution phylogenetic analysis for biomarker discovery.
Huijue Jia
With a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from Fudan University, Huijue studied for her PhD in Biochemistry with Dr. Eckhard Jankowsky at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. After a short postdoctoral period before Dr. Yi Zhang relocated to Harvard and despite a fellowship from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Huijue became an editor for the then new journal of Nature Communications in London, responsible for multiple disciplines concerning DNA or RNA. Since joining BGI-Shenzhen in 2013, Huijue and her team have been pushing boundaries in metagenomic studies on all types of samples from reference datasets, disease associations. Science is without boundaries, and it is high time for international collaborations.
Ivan Liachko
Dr. Liachko is the founder/CEO and Chief Scientist of Phase Genomics and one of the inventors of their core technology. He received his B.S. at Brandeis University, his Ph.D. at Cornell University, and went on to do his postdoctoral work in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. He has authored more than 40 academic papers and a number of patents in the field of genomics and synthetic biology. He founded Phase Genomics in 2015 and leads the organization in an executive as well as technical roles.
Jacques Ravel
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Associate Director for Genomics, Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine. Editor in Chief of the journal Microbiome.
Jakob Begun
Associate Professor Jakob Begun obtained his MD and PhD in genetics at Harvard Medical School. His advanced training in Gastroenterology and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) was at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) where he developed a keen interest in the microbiome – immune system interactions. He is the director of IBD at the Mater Hospital Brisbane and IBD Group leader at the Mater Research Institute – University of Queensland. He runs a basic and translational laboratory investigating the interaction between innate immune functions of the gut and the microbial community. He also performs clinical research on the use of intestinal ultrasound in IBD, real world effectiveness of therapeutics, and identifying barriers of care for adolescents and young adults with IBD at the Mater Young Adult Health Centre. He is the chair of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia IBD Faculty.
James T Morton
James (Jamie) Morton joined Simons Foundation in 2019 as a member of the Center of Computational Biology. His main research interest is developing algorithms for performing inference on high dimensional datasets commonly obtained for biological applications. James has just completed his PhD in Computer Science at the University of California San Diego where he developed software and statistical techniques to study microbial ecosystems. He also has a quadruple major from Miami University with bachelor degrees in Mathematics/Statistics, Computer Science, Engineering Physics and Electrical Engineering.
Javier Martínez-Picado
Javier Martínez-Picado is a Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) research professor at IrsiCaixa — which has as its mission to advance clinical research and translate results into patient care — and an associate professor at the University of Vic (UVic). He received his PhD from the University of Barcelona (UB) and was subsequently employed there as an associate professor lecturing on different microbiology-related subjects. In 1996, as a post-doctoral fellow of Harvard Medical School, he joined the Massachusetts General Hospital where he engaged in AIDS research. In 2000 he was appointed by the Spanish Health Department to the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital (Badalona) as a biomedical researcher. He currently leads a research programme focused on understanding how HIV causes disease in recently infected people, exploring the best antiretroviral treatment strategies and drug resistance. He actively collaborates with global HIV/AIDS vaccine development projects and serves on several governmental, academic and industry advisory boards. He has published extensively on HIV treatment strategies and HIV pathogenesis in international journals.
Javier Santos
Dr Javier Santos is consultant of Gastroenterology at Vall d`Hebron Hospital, Barcelona, Director and Principal Investigator of the Neuro-Immuno-Gastroenterology Group and Coordinator of the Liver and Digestive Diseases Area, Vall d’Hebron Research Institute, and member of the Internal Scientific Committee of VHIR, Member of the ROME FOUNDATION. Dr. Santos graduated in Medicine at the University of Navarra (1982-1988), Spain. He then completed his training in Gastroenterology and Hepatology after accessing via MIR training (1989-1993) and obtained the title of Specialist (1994) at the Hospital General Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain. In parallel, he completed predoctoral studies in basic and clinical research in neurogastroenterology at the Digestive Diseases Research Unit, Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Vall d'Hebron (1993-1997), and obtained his Ph.D. (1997) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. D. (1997), under the tutelage of Dr. E. Saperas and Professor JR Malagelada with the reading of the thesis entitled "Neuro-regulation of digestive functions by thyrotropin-releasing hormone in the central nervous system". Later he started a 3-year postdoctoral stage (1997-1999) in immunology and gastrointestinal physiology, at the Intestinal Disease Research Program, McMaster University, Canada, under the mentorship of Dr. Mary H. Perdue. His research in the field of neuro-immuno-gastroenterology remains inherently translational, with special emphasis on the mechanisms linking genetic, molecular, microbial, cellular and environmental determinants to the clinical manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome and other functional gastrointestinal disorders. His research also pursues the identification of sensitive and specific biomarkers potentially useful for the diagnostic and therapeutic management of these disorders. His research activity also includes collaborations with several centers of international prestige. Dr. Santos' scientific contribution includes dozens of original manuscripts, reviews and editorials in high impact and international journals, and numerous communications/abstracts/conferences/lectures in the most relevant forums of the specialty. In addition, Dr Santos has contributed to the development of clinical guidelines for the specialty, to the organization of national and international training courses on aspects related to functional diseases of the digestive system, and to research training by directing and participating in doctoral thesis. He is a member of numerous professional scientific societies, such as the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, the Brain-Gut Research Group, the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, the American Gastroenterological Association, the European Gastroenterological Federation, or the International Society of Mucosal Immunology and former member of the Future Trends UEGF Committee. He also collaborates as an external expert reviewer for regional, national and supranational public and private funding agencies and academic institutions, and for a very large number of scientific journals. Dr. Santos has been awarded by the Association of European and Mediterranean National Societies of Gastroenterology as Rising Star of Gastroenterology 2003, and more recently by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) with the 2009 Research Award for the best Researcher in Clinical Sciences, for his contributions in the field of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Finally, as a reflection of his national and international projection, Dr Santos is integrated in the CIBERehd of Hepatic and Digestive Diseases since 2009 and in the guidelines of support to the Consolidated Research Groups of Catalonia (2009 SGR 00219), having participated in several European projects, such as an ITN (European Training Network) in Neural Regulation of Intestinal Function "NeuroGut", Call: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN, two COST actions of the European Program: BM1007 (Mast Cells and Basophils Targets for Innovative Therapies; http://www. ) and BM1106 (The Genes in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Research Network Europe (GENIEUR ; ) and has recently obtained a 6 million euro project, as the main Coordinator, for the study of the origin of comorbidities in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, Call: H2020-SC1-2019-Two-Stage-RTD, Project: 848228 - DISCOvERIE.
Jayne Danska
Dr. Danska was born and raised in New York City, and educated at Kenyon College, Cornell University Medical School, The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Stanford University Medical School. She is a Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children and a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto with appointments in the Departments of Immunology, and Medical Biophysics. In 2018, she was also appointed Associate Chief, Faculty Development and Diversity at the SickKids Research Institute. She has made contributions to understanding immunological, genetic and environmental causes of autoimmune disease with a focus on type 1 diabetes, mechanisms of acute lymphoid leukemia and innate immune surveillance. Her discovery of an innate immune checkpoint spawned an industry partnership and the development of a new immunotherapy that is in clinical trials for blood cell cancers.
Jennifer Mahony
Prof. Jennifer Mahony graduated with a BSc in Food Science and Technology from Cork Institute of Technology in 2003. She pursued a PhD on the subject of prophage-encoded bacteriophage resistance mechanisms in the dairy bacterium Lactococcus lactis. After graduating with her PhD in 2008, she continued to research phage-host interactions in her post-doctoral research. These studies were primarily focused on the phage-host interactions of the lactic acid bacteria that are employed in dairy fermentations while they also encompassed those pertaining to food spoilage microorganisms such as Lactobacillus brevis and pathogenic organisms such as Shigella. Now as Professor of Molecular Food Microbiology, she leads a research team dedicated to understanding the mechanisms by which phages infect their hosts and how bacteria respond and evolve in order to adapt and survive. In addition to the development of model bacteria-phage systems, this research aims to ascertain the biological relevance of these systems in complex communities such as fermented foods and the human gastrointestinal tract.
Jeroen Raes
VIB Center for the Biology of Disease, Louvain, Belgium
Johan Rung
Johan Rung is heading the Data Centre at SciLifeLab, Sweden’s largest national infrastructure for molecular life sciences. With a PhD in Engineering Physics and a background in biotechnology and complex systems, he has worked in bioinformatics for 25 years and held positions at McGill University, EMBL – European Bioinformatics Institute, and Uppsala University/SciLifeLab. His research contributions include transcriptomic and genomic analysis of type 2 diabetes, skeletal muscle metabolism and kidney cancer. The SciLifeLab Data Centre develops and operates both technical and scientific services and resources for life science data in Sweden, including the Swedish national COVID-19 data portal.
John Cryan
Professor John F. Cryan is Vice President for Research & Innovation at University College Cork, Cork Ireland and is also a Principal Investigator in the APC Microbiome Institute. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. He was a visiting fellow at the Dept Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia, which was followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA and The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California. He spent four years at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel Switzerland, as a LabHead, Behavioural Pharmacology prior to joining UCC in 2005. Prof. Cryan's current research is focused on understanding the interaction between brain, gut & microbiome and how it applies to stress, psychiatric and immune-related disorders at key time-windows across the lifespan. Prof. Cryan has published over 550 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has a H-index of 126 (Google Scholar). He is a Senior Editor of Neuropharmacology and of Neurobiology of Stress. He is on the editorial board of a further 15 journals. He has co-edited four books and is co-author of the bestselling “The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection” (National Geographic Press, 2017). He has received numerous awards including UCC Researcher of the Year in 2012, the University of Utrecht Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research in 2013, UCC Research Communicator of the Year 2017, and being named on the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher list in 2014 and Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher list in 2017 through to 2020. He was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2017. He also received a Research Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterology Association and the Tom Connor Distinguished Scientist Award from Neuroscience Ireland in 2017 and was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Antwerp, Belgium in 2018. He was a TEDMED speaker in Washington in 2014 and is Past-President of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society.
John Parkinson
Dr. John Parkinson is a Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children and Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the application of computational, genomics and systems-based approaches to study the pathways by which parasites and pathogens are able to infect and persist. Computational tools developed in his lab are used to analyze metatranscriptomic and population genomic datasets to provide functional insights into the dynamics of infection. Of particular interest are eukaryotic microbes, their interactions within the context of the gut microbiome, and their role in malnutrition.
John Penders
Dr. John Penders is an Associate Professor in Molecular Epidemiology and Microbial Ecology, head of the Microbiome research lab at the Department of Medical Microbiology, Maastricht University Medical Center+, and Scientific Co-Director of the Euregional Microbiome Center. His research group integrates metagenomic methods within the context of prospective epidemiological studies using various longitudinal statistical and bioinformatics tools to elucidate the role of the microbiome in health and disease. A major focus is the study on the establishment of the microbiota during infancy and its association with the onset of non-communicable diseases (e.g. allergies and obesity). In addition, his group studies the collection of antimicrobial resistance genes, the resistome, within complex microbial ecosystems such as the human gut microbiome.
Jonel Trebicka
Consultant at the Department of Internal Medicine at the University Clinic Frankfurt in Germany, as well as Professor for Translational Hepatology at the same department. After finalizing his medical degree at the University of Bonn, he specialized in Internal Medicine at the University Clinic of that same city. In 2013 he took his board exam in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. One year later, Dr. Trebicka got his PhD at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and he was Adjunct Professor for Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense (Denmark) during 2015. Since 2017, he is visiting Professor at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, Barcelona (Spain). From 2013 until 2018, Dr. Trebicka held the position of Head of TIPS-outpatient Clinic of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University Clinic Bonn. Dr. Trebicka is member of the German Association for Internal Medicine, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the German Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and the European Association for the Study of the Liver, among others. He is associate editor of the Journal of Hepatology, Liver Transplantation and Scientific Reports journals, as well as a member of the board of Gastroenterology, Gut, and Journal of Hepatology, among others. Dr. Trebicka has published more than 600 abstracts in national and international conferences since 2002; he has been invited to talk more than 65 times at these events. His field of interest and publications are basic and clinical research on end-stage liver diseases (acute-on-chronic liver failure and portal hypertension), HIV and vascular liver diseases with special emphasis on chronic inflammation, genetic mechanisms and intracellular signaling, with more than 200 citations in Pubmed
Jordi Espadaler
Director of Innovation AB-BIOTICS Jordi received his PhD in Molecular Biology from Autonomous University of Barcelona, and has completed an open executive education program at IESE. His research career currently focuses in probiotics and human microbiome, as well as in human genetics, and currently serves as Director of Innovation and CSO at AB-Biotics SA, where his work encompasses managing from in vitro testing to clinical trials. He also co-founded Ability Pharmaceuticals, a biotech startup developing an oncology drug currently in phase-II.
José Manuel Fernández-Real
PI at Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Girona (IdIBGi), Girona, Spain. He was among the very first authors to propose chronic low grade inflammation in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes, obesity and insulin resistance and iron stores as a component of the metabolic syndrome. The interplay of the microbiota with all these elements is also an important line of research. He has been recently invited to talk about his research in the Annual Meeting of the American Diabetes Association (San Francisco 2015), the Endocrine Society (Boston 2016) and the American Society of Nutrition (San Diego 2016), in addition to invited conferences in meetings from European Association for the study of Diabetes (Lisbon 2011), Endocrinology (Budapest 2012), Obesity (Sofia 2014) and Nutrition (Prague 2016). He is currently Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine (University of Girona), Director of Research in the Department of Endocrinology, and Scientific Director of the “Fat Bank”, a nation-wide Biobank specialized in adipose tissue samples. He is Principal Investigator and member of the Steering Committee of the CIBERobn, a Network of Excellence in the Research of Obesity in Spain.
Julie A Segre
Senior Investigator, Microbial Genomics Section, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH. Segre’s research defined the human skin-associated bacterial, fungal and viral communities, enabling studies of pediatric atopic dermatitis, primary immunodeficiency, and emerging pathogens. Segre’s research also integrated whole-genome sequencing of hospital pathogens to study nosocomial transmission.
Karen Scott
The Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
Karsten Kristiansen
Karsten Kristiansen is Professor of Molecular Biology and heads the Laboratory of Genomics and Molecular Biomedicine at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen. He is also Professor and Director at BGI-Shenzhen and the Institute of Metagenomics, Qingdao-Europe Institute for Advanced Life Sciences, Qingdao, China. After graduation from the University of Copenhagen, he held research positions at the Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Genetik in Berlin and at the Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, Fondation Edmond de Rothschild, in Paris. He was full professor and head of Department of Molecular Biology, later Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, 1992-2008, before he was recruited as professor and Head of the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen in 2008. He stepped down from being Head of Department in 2015 in order to spend more time with BGI-Shenzhen. Central themes of the research of Professor Kristiansen concern the interaction between the host genome, the host immune system and the gut microbiota in regulating gut health and energy metabolism, and how interaction between different nutrients modulates energy homeostasis. In addition, his research groups now explore the interaction between the brain and the gut microbiota. For these projects, his research groups use a combination of molecular biology approaches, animal studies, metagenomics and genomics. He has published more than 400 articles in refereed journals, many of which in high-ranking journals such as Science, Nature, and Cell, and he is a WoS Clarivate highly cited researcher.
Kathy McCoy
Dr. Kathy McCoy is a Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Cumming school of Medicine, member of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, and Scientific Director of the International Microbiome Center at the University of Calgary, Canada. Her research group uses germ-free and gnotobiotic models to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the microbiome regulates host immunity and physiology. She is particularly interested in the dynamic interplay between the gut microbiota and the innate and adaptive immune systems. Her research aims to understand how exposure to intestinal microbes, particularly during early life, educates and regulates the mucosal, systemic and neuronal immune systems and how this can affect susceptibility to diseases, such as allergy, autoimmunity, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Her lab also investigates how the microbiome regulates the immune system throughout life with the aim to identify microbial therapies that can be employed to enhance current therapeutic approaches, such as in cancer.
Katsuhiko Mizuguchi
Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) Division of Innovative Research and Development Department of Innovation and Clinical Research Center Deputy Manager
Ken Blount
Ken Blount, PhD, is the VP of Microbiome Technologies at Ferring Pharmaceuticals and CSO of Rebiotix Inc, a Ferring Company. Dr. Blount is a seasoned director of collaborative research programs in biotech, pharma, clinical, and academic research settings, and his scientific expertise includes antibiotics discovery and development, fecal microbiome analysis, translational medical oncology, and RNA-targeting therapeutics. Prior to joining Rebiotix, Dr. Blount coordinated translational urologic oncology research for the Yale Cancer Center. Previously, he was a cofounder and the Director of Biology at BioRelix, a venture-backed Connecticut biotech that developed new antibiotics to target structured bacterial messenger RNAs. At BioRelix, Dr. Blount led a combined force of internal scientists and external resources that delivered development candidates for treating Clostridium difficile infections. Dr. Blount received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Arkansas and earned a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Colorado Boulder, after which he completed an NIH post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California San Diego.
Lanjuan Li
Zhejuang University, Hangzhou, China.
Lars Engstrand
Lars Engstrand, MD, Professor of clinical microbiology and communicable diseases, Karolinska Institute. He holds the Director position at the Center for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR), Karolinska Institutet/SciLifeLab and chair for the MMHP initiative. Engstrand’s research group aims at creating a scientific environment with a broad interdisciplinary approach to the interface between epidemiology and the microbiological, immunological and genetic aspects of chronic infectious diseases to clarify the pathogenic mechanisms and to improve the prospects for primary prevention. He established CTMR that started up in January 2016 as a public-private partnership between Karolinska Institutet, SciLifeLab and Ferring Pharmaceuticals. The center builds on a deep understanding of translational microbiome research and has established a broad technical, biological, clinical and epidemiological platform for studying complex microbiological communities in well-defined human materials. The collaboration forms a solid foundation for understanding the contribution of the microbiome to normal physiology and pathophysiology and opens opportunities for development of novel therapies.
Laurence Zitvogel
Scientific director at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Centre in Villejuif, France, and director of the U1015 INSERM Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Laboratory. Professor of immunobiology at the University of Paris XI Medical School. France.
Liping Zhao
Professor for microbiology and associate dean for School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Leader for the functional Metagenomics platform in Shanghai Center for Systems Biomedicine. Editorial board member of FEMS Microbiology Ecology and senior editor of the ISME Journal. China.
Manimozhiyan Arumugam
Group Leader and Associate Professor at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He leads the Microbiome Systems Biology research group that investigates how health and diseases are influenced by our gut microbiome; how the gut microbiome interacts with the host and environmental factors; and how we can therapeutically modulate the gut microbiome to improve health. His group takes interdisciplinary approaches combining multi-omics microbiome data to study host-microbial cross-talk. The group also investigates therapeutic approaches to modulate the gut microbiome towards improving human health.
Marcis Leja
Mārcis Leja is the Director of the Institute of Clinical and Preventive Medicine, University of Latvia and Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Latvia, is heading the Department of Research at the Riga East University hospital and is employed as a consulting gastroenterologist in Digestive Diseases Centre GASTRO, Riga, Latvia. His main research interests include Helicobacter pylori and microbiome, cancer screening and early detection, new tests for cancer and gastrointestinal diseases, including based on breath analysis, definition and surveillance strategies for gastric precancerous lesions. He is the international or national principal investigator in many studies related to cancer prevention or early detection, the largest of them being GISTAR study (Multicentric randomised study of H.pylori eradication and pepsinogen testing for prevention of gastric cancer mortality) which has been designed and is run together with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Research related to the breath volatile organic compound testing for gastric cancer detection also deserves to be mentioned (projects: Volgacore, Sniffphone, Vogas). Marcis Leja graduated from the Faculty of General Medicine, Riga Medical Institute (currently Riga Stradins’ University) in 1988, was trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology, in 2003 obtained his PhD degree. He is a Fellow of the Latvia Academy of Sciences and American Gastroenterology Association, member and the past President of the European Helicobacter and Microbiome Study Group (EHMSG), member of the Cancer Mission Board established at the European Commission, member of the Research Committee, United European Gastroenterology (UEG), member of the Advisory Committee, European Society for Digestive Oncology (ESDO) and Founding Member of the Heathy Stomach Initiative (HSI). He has established multiple research collaborations globally, including with the centres in Eastern and Central Europe and Central Asia. He is a co-author of over 160 research publications s well as 5 book chapters; Associate Editor of the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, Editorial Board member of Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Helicobacter, Microbiota in Health and Disease, Medicina as well as several national editions in Latvia, Russia and Belarus.
Maria Carmen Collado
Researcher at the Dept. Biotechnology, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
Maria Gloria Domínguez Bello
Henry Rutgers Professor of Microbiome and Health Interim Director, NJ Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology and of Anthropology Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Marie-Claire Arrieta
Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta is an Assistant Professor in the departments of Physiology, Pharmacology and Pediatrics of the University of Calgary. Her research examines the interactions between the early-life gut microbiome and the infant’s immune system. Her research program is framed around a translational approach, in which samples collected from children undergoing clinical care or enrolled in a birth cohort studies are used to characterize the microbial alterations (dysbiosis) associated with asthma and asthma risk. Her research group also examines the causality and mechanisms of these associations in mouse models of inflammation, placing her work at a critical interface between clinical studies and experimental animal work. As an advocate of science communication to the public, Dr. Arrieta has written a best-selling public book, Let Them Eat Dirt, and is involved in several science communication initiatives within Canada and abroad.
Mark Morrison
Professor of Microbial Biology and Metagenomics, University of Queensland Diamantina Institute and Translational Research Institute, Science Lead for Gastrointestinal Function, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.
Martin J Blaser
Henry Rutgers Chair of the Human Microbiome at Rutgers University, Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine. Previously, he served as Chair of the Department of Medicine at New York University. A physician and microbiologist, Dr. Blaser has been studying the relationships we have with our persistently colonizing bacteria. His work over 30 years focused on Campylobacter species and Helicobacter pylori, which also are model systems for understanding the interactions of residential bacteria with their hosts. Over the last 20 years, he has also been actively studying the relationship of the human microbiome with health and important diseases including asthma, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. He currently serves as Chair of the Presidential Advisory Council for Combatting Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB). He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy for Arts and Sciences.
Mathieu Almeida
Dr. Mathieu Almeida is a bioinformatician expert in metagenomic analysis of the human digestive microbiota. After finishing a post-doctoral position at the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, University of Maryland (USA), he joined the INRAE MetaGenoPolis Institute (France) as a Research Fellow. He is leading multi-disciplinary projects, covering metagenomic analysis of large human cohorts, as well as bioreactor and animal model analysis. He is currently in charge of the French Gut bioinformatic data integration and processing, aiming at collecting and analyzing 100,000 French gut microbiome, and part of the Million Microbiome of Humans Project consortium.
Meghan Azad
Dr. Azad is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Manitoba. She holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease and co-Directs the new Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC). Her research program is focused on the role of infant nutrition and the microbiome in child growth, development and resilience. Dr. Azad serves as Deputy Director of the CHILD Cohort Study, a national pregnancy cohort following 3500 children to understand how early life experiences shape lifelong health. She is leading a clinical trial to improve matching procedures for preterm neonates receiving donor human milk, and directing the new International Milk Composition (IMiC) Consortium. Her research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Azad serves on the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation Executive Council and the joint US/Canada Human Milk Composition Initiative.
Mireia Valles-Colomer
Mireia Valles-Colomer is an EMBO postdoctoral researcher in CIBIO (University of Trento, Italy). With a background in Microbiology and Computational Biology (UAB, Spain and VUB, Belgium), her research focuses on understanding the role of the human gut microbiome in mental health. As part of her PhD in the group of Jeroen Raes (KU Leuven, Belgium) she sought to characterise the microbial production and degradation of neuroactive compounds in metagenomic data, and performed the first population-level study on the link between the gut microbiome and host anxiety and depression (Valles-Colomer et al, Nat. Microbiology 2019). The study was included in "Nature milestones 2019" as milestone paper in human microbiota research, and was awarded a recommendation from F1000Prime.
Nicola Segata
Associate professor at the Centre for Integrative Biology at University of Trento (Italy). His ERC-funded lab focuses on experimental and computational metagenomics to characterize with strain-level resolution the microbial communities associated with humans in health and disease conditions. On the experimental side, the laboratory is producing and analysing shotgun metagenomics and metatranscriptomics data for studying the link between the gut microbiome and colorectal cancer, the skin microbiome and psoriasis, the lung pathobiome and progression of cystic fibrosis infections, the gut microbiome in dietary intolerances, and the vertical transmission of microbial organisms from mothers to infants during the first weeks of life. The main computational projects focus instead on the profiling of microbiomes with strain-level resolution and the meta-analysis of very large sets of metagenomes with multiple analytic tools.
Olle De Bruin
Dr. de Bruin is a molecular microbiologist who holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Victoria. To complement his expertise in intracellular bacterial pathogens, Dr. de Bruin completed his post-doctoral training at DNA Genotek, Inc., where his research focused on novel methods for extraction and stabilization of nucleic acids from difficult-to-lyse microbes. Dr. de Bruin’s research interests include molecular aspects of bacterial secretion and cell-to-cell interaction, and their importance and application in infectious disease, microbiomics and metabolomics. He is experienced in the development of protocols and reagents for infectious disease, microbiome and metabolomics research.
Paolo Nuciforo
Board-certified Pathologist, Principal Investigator of the Molecular Oncology group at Vall d`Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO). The group is at the core of VHIO’s translational and clinical research activities performing molecular profiling of over 1500 patients per year as candidates for enrolment in early phase clinical trials carried out at VHIO’s Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer (UITM). He has 13+ years of experience in oncology translational medicine and drug development both in academic and pharmaceutical environments. He co-authored over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals with a main focus on the discovery and validation of novel biomarkers using tissue-based technologies. During the last three years, he has been working in deciphering the impact of Fusobacterium nucleatum infection in colorectal cancer development and evolution (Bullman et al, Science 2017). The group is currently developing tissue-based assays to study cancer-related bacteria in situ for in-dept characterization of the microbiota and host interactions in tumor samples.
Patrick Veiga
Health & Microbiome Science Director, of the Innovation, Science & Nutrition Department, Danone Nutricia Research, France. He joined Danone Nutricia Research (France) in 2008. In 2011, he was appointed visiting scientist at Harvard School of Public Health (Boston, MA) for 3 years. Then, he took the co-lead of the gut microbiota research program in Danone Nutricia Research. In 2017, he was nominated Microbes & Foods for Health Group Leader and 2 years later Health & Microbiome Science Director. He co-authored papers published in leading journals (Science, Nature, Nature Communication, PNAS).
Paul O'Toole
Professor of Microbial Genomics at University College Cork, Ireland. Principal Investigator in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre.
Paul Wilmes
Associate Professor of Systems Ecology at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg. Deputy Head of the Systems Biomedicine Department and Head of the Eco-Systems Biology research group (Wilmes Lab). Dr Wilmes obtained his PhD in 2006 from the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich (UK), a part of his doctoral research having been conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen (Germany). After three years of postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley (USA), he returned to his native Luxembourg in early 2010 through an ATTRACT Fellowship of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR). He initially established his research group at the Centre de Recherche Public – Gabriel Lippmann but later joined the LCSB. Dr. Wilmes' main primary research focus is on using Systems Biology approaches to identify key functionalities of microbial communities including human-associated microbiota. His group has pioneered appropriate methodologies for carrying out systematic molecular measurements of microbial consortia over space and time. This allows, for example, to define lifestyle strategies of distinct populations and link these to genetic and functional traits. The same approaches allow the study of microbiome-host molecular interactions. In this context, his group has pioneered the development of a microfluidics-based in vitro model of the human-microbial gastrointestinal interface called HuMiX.
Peer Bork
Senior group leader and joint head of the Structural and Computational Biology Unit and strategic head of bioinformatics at EMBL, Germany.
Peter Green
Dr. Peter Green is the Director of The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and the Phyllis and Ivan Seidenberg Professor of Medicine at Columbia University. Dr. Green received his medical degree from University of Sydney, Australia. After completing his Residency and GI fellowship in Sydney he became a Research fellow at Harvard Medical School and in the Gastroenterology Department at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the American College of Gastroenterology as well as a Member of the American Gastroenterologic Association and American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. In addition, he has lectured on celiac disease at many medical institutions throughout the United States as well as national and international meetings. Dr. Green has more than 500 research publications on celiac disease. Additional information is available at
Peter Løngreen
Peter Løngreen has over 15 years of experience developing and implementing HPC and cloud infrastructure solutions. He is passionate about developing new IT-infrastructures and research services for the Danish health care system and Life Science community. As Director General of the Danish National Genome Center, he helped establish the organisational and technological infrastructure behind Denmark’s precision medicine initiative. Currently, he is serving as the Director of Computerome, Denmark’s National Life Science Supercomputing Center, where he is working to develop future HPC and cloud services for the Danish Life Science community.
Premysl Bercik
Professor of Medicine at McMaster University and consultant gastroenterologist at Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. His basic and clinical research focusses on the role of intestinal bacteria in gut-brain axis signaling, and its relevance to functional gastrointestinal and gluten-related disorders.
Reinhard Hinterleitner
Dr Reinhard Hinterleitner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He studied Biotechnology at the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna and received his PhD from the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. Supported by an Erwin Schrödinger Postdoctoral Fellowship, Reinhard joined the laboratory of Dr. Bana Jabri at the University of Chicago where he studied the role of enteric viral infections on oral tolerance in the context of celiac disease. Reinhard was appointed by the Department of Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2018 as an Assistant Professor in the tenure track. His current research focuses on the cross talk between gut microbes and the host mucosal immune system in the context of food sensitivities and intestinal inflammation.
Richard Hughes
Richard Hughes is VP, Publishing for Nature in London. As part of this role, Richard partners with organisations globally to support the research community. He is part of the team that in 2018 established the Global Grants for Gut Health. This fund – sponsored by Yakult – supports independent research that advances our understanding of the role of the gut microbiota on human health. Richard holds scientific degrees from the University of Southampton and the University of Bath, and an MBA from Henley Business School.
Rinse Weersma
Chair of the Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology , University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands. Professor in Gastroenterology & Hepatology, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Rob Knight
Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering at the University of California San Diego. Co-founder of the American Gut Project. And co-founder of the Earth Microbiome Project. USA.
Roberto Flores
Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, United States.
Roger Paredes
Principal Investigator on the Microbial Genetic Group at IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute. Senior medical appointment at Germans Trias I Pujol University Hospital and researcher at the Fight AIDS Foundation.
Ruixin Liu
Ruixin Liu, Ph.D. and M.D., Professor of Medicine in National Clinical Research Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine in 2010 and further pursued postdoctoral research in Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received Outstanding Youth Foundation from National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in 2018. Her research focuses on the metagenomics study of obesity and metabolic diseases. Her group has uncovered the characteristics of gut microbiome in young obese individuals, identified a series of obesity-related microbial species, and further conducted functional study on these organisms. Dr. Liu published more than 30 research articles in high impact journals including Nat Med、 Nat Cell Biol、Diabetes、Nat Commun, etc., and received six grants from NSFC.
Senthil Murugapiran
Senthil works as a R&D Bioinformatician at Diversigen, MN. He has more than 10 years of international research experience working with large scale data sets from single-cell, meta-, microbial genomics, proteomics and transcriptomics. In his previous role at the French National Agricultural Institute (INRA, France) he developed pipelines to rapidly annotate millions of microbial genes and while at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, identified methods to study 'microbial dark matter'. He is passionate about finding elegant computational solutions to answer complex biological questions.
Sonia Fernández
After completing her doctorate at the UB (Biomedicine, 2000-2004) and developing solid postdoctoral training in several research centers in Madrid (UCM, CBMSO) and La Jolla (The Scripps Research Institute), Dr. Fernández-Veledo began her independent career in 2011 as a Miguel Servet researcher at the Pere Virgili Health Research Institute (IISPV) in Tarragona. Currently, she is a consolidated researcher at the IISPV where she leads the "Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases Research Group, DIAMET ( Her research combines basic and clinical studies to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying obesity-related comorbidities, which may help find new approaches and targets for the treatment of these metabolic diseases. She has published more than 70 articles, 25 as a senior author (some of them in high-impact journals such as Nature Immunology, Diabetes Care, or the British Journal of Pharmacology). She has led 8 competitive research projects (MINECO, Fundació La Caixa, Fundació La Marató de TV3, EASD) and 4 of Innovation & Transfer (ISCIII, AGAUR, Fundació La Caixa,). In addition, Dr. Fernández-Veledo has experience in the management of non-competitive contracts and agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and in the generation of industrial and intellectual property (holder of three patents). She also has experience in organizing R&D activities and has participated in more than 100 national and international conferences. Since 2013, she has actively participated in various scientific evaluation committees of research projects and calls for human resources (FIS, MINECO, ANEP/AEI). Dr. Fernández-Veledo also has extensive experience in training graduates and postgraduates at various Spanish universities (University of Barcelona, Complutense University, Autonomous University of Madrid). She is currently an associate professor at the School of Medicine (URV). She has supervised five Ph.D. theses and is currently a mentor of six Ph.D. students.
Stanislas Desjonquères
With a business school training, specialising in finance, Stanislas has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 25 years, and has developed an in-depth understanding of its markets and their operation. A pioneering entrepreneur in the field of therapeutic microbiota, he founded the Pharmabiotic Research Institute, (PRI) and has now created the incubator Nexbiome Therapeutics. He has been successful in attracting investment from several sources, both from growth equity investors and from venture capital.
Stanislav Dusko Ehrlich
Research Director Emeritus at INRA, where he is the PI of the Metagenopolis project. Professor at King’s College London, where he is Director of the Centre for Host Microbiome Interactions. France.
Susanne Brix
Prof Susanne Brix holds a PhD in Nutritional Immunology from 2005, and has since 2014 been heading the Disease Systems Immunology group at the Technical University of Denmark. Prof Brix is an expert in immune-microbiota interactions and in early life immune programming of disease. Her research focuses on deregulated immune responses in different disease settings, involving studies on homeostatic regulation of the immune system as induced by environmental agents such as food components, pathogenic microorganisms or the endogenous microbiota. Her group has extensive experience in addressing the interaction between microbes and host tissue cells via single cell systems, animal models, and in clinical material. By implementation of functional metagenomics pipelines, her group has contributed to the understanding on the distribution of endotoxin variants within bacteria showing that the abundance of inflammation-inducing endotoxin-producing bacteria is generally low, but enhances during different disease settings. During recent years, she has focused on research related to early life programming of diseases, displaying how divergent immune regulation towards different microbes precedes distinct asthmatic endophenotypes in children.
Theodore Alexandrov
Group leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, head of the EMBL Metabolomics Core Facility and Assistant Adjunct Professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy, University of California San Diego. The Alexandrov team at EMBL aims to reveal the secrets of metabolism in time and space in tissues and single cells by developing experimental and computational methods. The team unites interdisciplinary scientists from biology, chemistry, and computer science as well as software and machine learning engineers. Theodore Alexandrov is a grantee of an ERC Consolidator project focused on studying metabolism in single cells, as well as of various other European, national, NIH, and industrially-funded projects. He has co-founded and scientifically directed the company SCiLS and has over 70 journal publications and patents in the field of spatial-omics.
Tim Spector
Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of the TwinsUK Registry and Head of the Department of Twin Research at Kings College London. In 1992 he moved into genetics and founded the UK Twins Registry of 13,000 twins, which is the richest collection of genotypic and phenotypic information worldwide. He is past President of the International Society of Twin Studies, co-founded the European Twin Registry Consortium and collaborates with over 120 centres worldwide.
Yolanda Sanz
Yolanda Sanz holds a PhD in Pharmacy and is Full Professor at the Spanish National Research Council (IATA-CSIC). In her career, she had fellowships in several foreign institutions (University of Groningen, The Netherlands, INRA-Jouy en Josas. France; University of Verona, Italy; McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada). Her research interest focus on the role the gut microbiota plays in the transition from health to disease, through its interaction with the diet and the host immune and neuroendocrine systems. She has coordinated one of the largest human microbiome projects in Europe focused on metabolic and mental health (MyNewGut; She is currently involved in other three H2020 European projects related to stress and human health (EarlyCause) and food systems microbiomes (MicrobiomeSupport, CIRCLES) and coordinates an EIT-FOOD project and two Marie Curie actions (miVaO and MicroILCs) related to obesity. She has published over 213 scientific papers, some in high-rated Journals (Nat Commun, Brain Behav Immun, Am J Clin Nutr., Int J Obesity, Gigascience, etc.) with a H-index of 57 (WoS). Y Sanz has developed 13 patents, 7 have been licenced and one is under exploitation. She has been a Member of the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (2009-2018) and, currently is a member of the EFSA's FEEDAP Panel (2018-2021). She is also co-chair of the working group on Nutrition and Health of European Platform Food for Life (since 2017).