Nutrition, microbes, and human diseases: insights into pathogenesis and potential treatments

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Speakers: Dr. Karen Madsen and Dr. Eytan Wine
Moderator: Dr. Leah Gramlich

Advances in technology, especially the availability and drop in price of high-throughput sequencing over the last decade, have focused the scientific and public attention on the gut microbiota and their role in health and disease. Although we have known for decades that microbes contribute to nutrition and metabolism, we now have the tools to measure these effects and define mechanisms of action. Most studies use bacterial DNA isolated from stool to define the composition of microbes and correlate this with disease/health status through sequencing the 16S rRNA gene; however, sequencing the entire microbial DNA, termed metagenomics, provides mechanistic information on what the bacteria are actually doing - not only who they are.

These advances are specifically relevant to the complex relationship between nutrients/nutrition, gut microbes, the immune system, and human health. For example, recent papers have defined how specific fats contribute to cardiovascular disease, which is mediated by bacterial activity. Gut health (and diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis), are a major research focus for defining the relationship between nutrition and microbes. Many other systemic conditions, especially obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, are also affected by nutrition through gut microbes.

In our presentation we will describe these emerging technologies and their use, provide examples from human and animal studies, and paint a glimpse into the future on how such insights might affect maintenance of health and prevention/treatment of disease in the future, with a specific focus on nutrition and microbes.

About the Speakers
Dr. Wine is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Physiology and Clinician Scientist, Pediatric Gastroenterology at the University of Alberta in Canada. After his Medical and Pediatric training in Israel, he completed a Pediatric Gastroenterology Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and earned his PhD in Cellular Microbiology at the University of Toronto in Philip Sherman's laboratory. Dr. Wine's clinical expertise is managing children with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). This interest fits well with his laboratory research focus on involvement of intestinal bacteria in development of intestinal inflammation, enabling translational bench-to-bedside research. Work in the Wine lab is funded by Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions (AIHS), Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), and Crohn's and Colitis Canada (CCC). Dr. Wine is a co-principle applicant on the CIHR-CHILD Foundation Canadian Children IBD Network and is a member of the ESPGHAN Porto IBD Group.

Dr. Karen Madsen
Dr. Karen Madsen is a Professor of Medicine, University of Alberta Director of the Center of Excellence for Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research. Dr. Madsen is Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta and Director of the “Center of Excellence for Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research (CEGIIR)". After receiving her BSc (Hon) and MSc degrees in Biochemistry at the University of Manitoba, she completed a PhD degree at the University of Calgary in the area of gastrointestinal physiology. She did postdoctoral training in gastrointestinal inflammation and immunology at the University of Alberta. Dr. Madsen has received several awards in recognition of her excellence in research and teaching, including awards from the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, Canadian Association for Gastroenterology, Crohn's Colitis Canada and Canadian Association for Medical Education. Her research program is funded by Alberta Innovates, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and Alberta Health Services. The goal of her research program is to gain a mechanistic understanding of environmental and dietary influences on host-microbial interactions in order to design effective therapies to treat human disease based on manipulation of the gut microbiome. She is carrying out both clinical and basic research studies using dietary interventions, fecal microbial transplantation, and probiotic therapy to treat inflammatory bowel disease along with mechanistic studies to examine how the host responds to microbial manipulation.

** Original Source: "Education Webinar Series" Friday, October 20, 2016

Length: 1:01:05

Type: Video

Last Updated: October 20, 2016

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