Microbiota, Probiotics and Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Where are we and where are we going?

Date: Friday, April 16, 2021
Time: 12:00 - 13:00 ET

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Elena Verdu, MD, PhD - Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute (FFDHRI), McMaster University, Hamilton Canada

Moderated by: 
Elena Comelli, PhD - University of Toronto

Learning Objectives 

  1. To understand the role of gut microbiota within the complex pathogenesis of IBD 
  2. To review the recent data regarding probiotics in IBD
  3. To discuss ways to improve probiotic efficiency in IBD

About the Speaker:

Elena Verdu, MD, PhD - Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute (FFDHRI), McMaster University, Hamilton Canada

Dr. Elena Verdu has had a longstanding interest on the influence of microbial and dietary antigens on chronic inflammatory diseases. She obtained a medical degree in Argentina before embarking on a research career at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland and the Department of immunology and gnotobiology at the Czech Academy of Science where she gained a PhD degree studying the role of commensal bacterial antigens and probiotics in inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease. She then trained as a post-doctoral fellow at McMaster University, where her work focused on beneficial (probiotic) bacteria and their effect on gut function in the context of irritable bowel syndrome. Dr. Verdu was appointed assistant professor at McMaster University in 2006, where she developed a program to investigate host-microbial and dietary interactions in the gastrointestinal tract. Her research aims at deciphering commensal and opportunistic pathogen metabolism of dietary antigens and how that process affects their inflammatory capacity in the host. She is the director of the Axenic and Gnotobiotic facility at McMaster University and the associate director of FFDHRI. She has been honored by the 2007 New Investigator Award (Canadian Celiac Association; CCA), the 2011 Master’s Award in Gastroenterology in Basic Science (American Gastroenterology Association), the 2012 Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) Young Investigator Award, the 2017 CAG Visiting Research Professor Award, the 2019 CAG Education Excellence Award, the 2020 CAG Research Excellence Award, and the 2020 Crohn’s and Colitis of Canada (CCC)-Pfeizer Women in IBD: Outstanding Research Achievement Award. Currently she holds the rank of full professor and a Canada Research Chair in Inflammation, Microbiota and Nutrition. She is founding member and past president of the Society for the Study of Celiac Disease. Knowledge translation activities include her role as Nutrition lead in international platforms such as Gut Microbiota for Health.

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