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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.

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.
Ami Bhatt
Genetics, Stanford Medical School, Palo Alto, CA, United States.
Bernat Ollé
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vedanta Biosciences.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Julia 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 E. Nelson
President and Professor at J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, Maryland, USA.
Karen Scott
The Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Timothy 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.