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Bridging the Gap between Science and Industry



RHUL and its Surroundings



Keynote Speakers

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Maria Rescigno
Maria Rescigno
Director of Dendritic Cell Biology and Immunotherapy

European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

"Interaction of the immune system with the microbiota"



Maria Rescigno

Maria Rescigno graduated in Biology in 1990 at the University of Milan. From 1991 to 1994 she worked at the University of Cambridge, UK, in the Department of Biochemistry, as a visiting scholar. From 1995 to 1999, she worked at the National Research Council of Milan where she received her PhD in Pharmacology and toxicology in 1999. From 1999 to 2001 she worked at the University of Milano-Bicocca where she specialized in Applied Biotechnology. Since 2001 she is the director of the Dendritic cell biology and immunotherapy Unit at the Department of Experimental Oncology at the European Institute of oncology. She was the first to show that dendritic cells in the gut actively participate to bacterial uptake. Her major field of interest is the development of new immunotherapy strategies to fight cancer. She authored more than 100 publications in high impact journals including Nature Immunol, Immunity, J. Exp. Med., Science TM. She was nominated EMBO young investigator in 2007. Since 2008 she is visiting professor at the University of Oslo. In 2011 Maria Rescigno won the Avon prize as ‘Woman symbol of the city of Milan’ and was elected EMBO member. She has been the recipient of two ERC grants (starting and consolidator).


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Cathy Nagler
Cathy Nagler
Bunning Food Allergy Professor

The University of Chicago, Chicago, USA

"Commensal bacteria and the regulation of allergic responses to food"



Cathy Nagler

Cathryn Nagler graduated with honors from Barnard College, Columbia University, obtained her Ph.D. from the Sackler Institute of Biomedical Science at N.Y.U. School of Medicine and did a postdoctoral fellowship at M.I.T. She was Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Immunology) at Harvard Medical School prior to joining the University of Chicago as Professor of Pathology in 2009. Dr. Nagler has participated in numerous review panels for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, NIDDK and NIAID, including the Food Allergy Expert Panel. She has served the American Association of Immunologists as Section Editor for the Journal of Immunology, Instructor (Mucosal Immunology) for the Introduction to Immunology course and as member of the Program, Clinical Immunology and Publications Committees. She is currently an elected Councilor of the Society for Mucosal Immunology. Dr. Nagler has a long-standing interest in the mechanisms governing tolerance to dietary antigens and the potential immunomodulatory features of this route of antigen administration. In recent years her work has focused on examining how the commensal microbiota regulates susceptibility to allergic responses to food. She is applying the insights gained from studying murine models to the development of novel probiotic interventions for the prevention and treatment of food allergy.


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Our Guest Speakers



Koen Venema
Koen Venema
Gut Microbiology

University of Maastricht, Netherlands



Koen Venema

Dr Koen Venema runs his own research group at the University Maastricht in the Netherlands, with a focus on gut microbiology. Before that he worked for 15 years at TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research on the same subject, where he used the sophisticated, dynamic, computer-controlled in vitro models of the gastro-intestinal tract developed by TNO (nick-named TIM) to study the effect of functional foods and drugs on the gut microbiota. He also is project leader in the Top Institute Food & Nutrition, a virtual institute in the Netherlands, in which several knowledge institutes and global food companies collaborate in pre-competitive research. there, he runs a project on the molecular interaction of probiotics and prebiotics with the host. Dr. Venema is key opinion leader in the area of beneficial microbes, an area which he has devoted his whole career to.

He is the organizer of the TNO Beneficial Microbes Conference-series and is Editor-in-chief of the journal Beneficial Microbes, the media partner of the UK Probiotics Conference 2015. Furthermore he is founder and CEO of the company Beneficial Microbes Consultancy.


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Yuan Kun Lee
Yuan Kun Lee
Dept of Microbiology

Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore



Yuan Kun Lee

Prof Lee obtained his PhD from the University of London and currently a tenure member of the Department of Microbiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. He has published more than 100 papers in international refereed journals, contributed to 30 chapters in books and authored 5 monographs, which includes the “Hand book of Probiotics and Prebiotics” published by the John Wiley & Sons. He obtained his PhD from the University of London in 1979, spent 4 years as Shell Research Fellow before joining the National University of Singapore in 1983. He has received numerous research grants from the National Research Foundation, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, and Medical Research Council to support his work on gut microbiota and probiotics. His research is also support by the industry and he serves as a consultant of several companies over the last 30 years. He is active in scientific communities, serving as President of the Asian Federation of Societies for Lactic Acid Bacteria (AFSLAB), President of the Singapore Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology (SSMB), and President of the International Union for Microbiology Societies (IUMS).


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Jürgen Zentek
Jürgen Zentek
Animal Nutrition and Dietetics

Institute of Animal Nutrition, Berlin, Germany



Jürgen Zentek

Prof. Zentek received his degree as veterinarian in 1985 from the Veterinary school of Hannover. He received his doctoral degree in 1987 and the degree as specialist in animal nutrition and dietetics in 1993. The habilitation (venia legendi at the Hannover Vet School) was finalized in 1994 and he had an extraordinary professorship at the Hannover vet school from 1999. After one year as research scientist in Bristol/UK, school of veterinary science, he was appointed on the chair of clinical nutrition at the Veterinary university of Vienna where he became the head of the institute of nutrition. In 2005, he was appointed as professor at the institute of animal nutrition, Freie Universität Berlin. The main research interests cover the role of nutrition for the intestinal microbiota and immunity of the gastrointestinal tract. Prevention of health disorders in domestic animals is one of the main topics of the institute with a specific focus on gastrointestinal diseases. Prof. Zentek is heading a collaborative research group on the mode of action of probiotics in pigs and has been involved in many European and national research projects on feed and food safety.


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Sean S. Davies
Sean Davies
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Tennessee, USA



Sean Davies

Dr. Davies received a B.S in Chemistry in 1993 and a Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology in 1999 from the University of Utah. Trained as a lipid biochemist, his lab has primarily focused on understanding and targeting the role of bioactive lipids in chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, with the overarching goal of developing novel therapeutic approach for these diseases. In recent years, the profound impact of the gut microbiota on human health and disease has begun to be understood, suggesting that altering the gut microbiota may be a key step in preventing and treating chronic diseases. In 2007, Dr. Davies received an NIH Director New Innovator Award to test feasibility of generating long-term treatments for chronic diseases by remodeling an individual’s gut microbiota with bacteria genetically modified to sustainably secrete therapeutic metabolites.

To test the feasibility of this strategy, the probiotic bacteria E. coli Nissle 1917 was modified to secrete N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamines (NAPEs). NAPEs are anorexigenic lipids normally synthesized by the small intestine in response to food intake, but biosynthesis of NAPEs appears to be inadequate in obese individuals, so that appetite suppression is incomplete. Administration of NAPE expressing bacteria increased levels of NAPE in the colon, and of their active metabolites (N-acyl-ethanolamides, NAE) in the liver, demonstrating that probiotic bacteria can be engineered to deliver significant amounts of therapeutic compounds to their host. Most importantly, administration of NAPE expressing bacteria significantly reduced food intake and the gain of body fat and body weight when mice are placed on a high fat diet. The presence of the bacteria was detected in feces for at least 4 weeks after stopping administration of the bacteria, demonstrating at least transient colonization of the therapeutic bacteria. Inhibition of food intake and weight gain also persisted during this time, demonstrating that remaining bacteria were able to generated sufficient NAPE to sustain the pharmacological effect. Current studies in the lab focus on understanding the mechanisms of action of bacterially generated NAPE on obesity, in identifying optimal conditions for persistent incorporation of probiotic bacteria into the gut microbiome, and identifying other therapeutic compounds that can be successfully delivered by probiotic bacteria.


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Bobbi Langkamp-Henken
Bobbi Langkamp-Henken
Food Science and Human Nutrition Department

University of Florida, USA



Bobbi Langkamp-Henken

Dr. Langkamp-Henken worked for six years as a hospital dietitian before she pursued a doctorate in gastrointestinal physiology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, USA. She then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in immunology in the departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Surgery, University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the Memphis VA Medical Center. At this time, Dr. Langkamp-Henken is a Professor in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at the University of Florida. Her main research interest is to develop novel approaches to examine dietary modulation of gastrointestinal and immune function in the maintenance of overall health and wellbeing of children and adults. Current intervention studies examine the impact of whole-grain products, select nutrients, fermentable fibers, and probiotics on intestinal and immune health.


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Joseph F. Petrosino
Joseph F. Petrosino
Baylor College of Medicine & MetanomeTM

Houston, Texas, USA



Joseph F. Petrosino

My research focuses on how the environmental and human microbiota are associated with health and disease with the goal of implementing new diagnostic and therapeutic measures based on the role of the microbiome in each context. Microbiome based diagnostics may provide a more sensitive method for detecting and characterizing certain diseases and/or predicting susceptibility to others so that appropriate precautions can be made (for example, taking a probiotic or antibiotic when traveling when it’s known that an individual is highly susceptible to travelers’ diarrhea or Norwalk virus infection). Just as human genome sequencing can contribute to an individualized profile that is medically actionable, the microbiome soon too will assist doctors in the era of personalized medicine.

Over the past 3 years we have been pursuing diverse projects targeted to understand how the microbiome impacts disease, and how metagenomics can be used to discover and identify new etiologies for infectious disease. Toward these goals, we have established the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research (CMMR).

The mission of this center is to:

  • Establish and support collaborative local and international microbiome/metagenomic research studies.
  • Engage investigators/clinical collaborators who have ideal model systems and cohorts for microbiome research.
  • Expand metagenomic research into animal and molecular model systems so that hypothesis-driven studies can be pursued and supported.
  • Provide a critical mass in bioinformatic expertise for analyzing and providing statistical support for metagenomic data.
  • Translate novel discoveries from microbiome studies to effective clinical therapeutics and diagnostics.
  • Among the largest CMMR projects is an ongoing analysis of approximately 20,000 samples from the NIH/NIDDK TEDDY (The Environmental Determinants of (Type 1) Diabetes in the Young) study.

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Wolfgang Kunze
Wolfgang Kunze
Brain-Body Institute

McMaster University, Ontario, Canada



Wolfgang Kunze

Dr Kunze graduated from Melbourne University in 1991 with a PhD in neurophysiology. His central interests relate to biophysics, sensory neuroscience and neural network information processing. Specific research areas have included extrapyramidal sensorimotor processing and models ageing in sensory processing, olfactory circuit analysis and enteric intrinsic sensory and gut to brain signaling.

Dr Kunze has spent the last 2 decades using biophysical, biochemical, electrophysiological and computational modeling techniques to identify primary afferent neurons intrinsic to the gut to elucidate how mechanical and chemical sensory signals evoke peristalsis and digestion. This work was associated with productive collaborations with research groups in France, Germany and China, and has led to a specific body of enteric sensory neurophysiological knowledge. He is considered an expert in this area and has pioneered techniques which have improved our understanding of the sensory role of the enteric nervous system. For example he has developed and published methodology to patch clamp myenteric intrinsic primary afferent neurons in situ in mice. This has allowed him to characterize real-time neurons responses to luminal stimuli in several animal species.

During the last 5 years, he has worked at the McMaster Brain-Body Institute and collaborated with others at the University. This has led to a fruitful broadening of the intestinal sensory studies to include signals from biologicals such as beneficial bacteria and their molecules with work published in Nature Communications and FASEB journal. He has demonstrated for the first time that the enteric nervous system transmits signals originating from luminal probiotic bacteria to the central nervous system via a novel intramural nicotinic “sensory synapse”. He is now studying the afferent neural pathways through which transient and indigenous gut bacteria (microbiota) and their component molecules change affect and improve brain function, especially in the aged.


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Other Speakers Include



Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle
Paediatric Allergy

Imperial College London, UK



Robert Boyle

Dr Boyle is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Allergy at Imperial College London. He previously trained in Paediatric Allergy and Immunology at the Royal Children's Hospital and Melbourne University, Australia where his PhD investigated the immune effects of probiotic bacteria used for preventing eczema.

His main research focus is the primary prevention of allergic disease in childhood, with current projects investigating possible roles for probiotics, other dietary interventions and emollient skin creams. Other areas of active research are investigation of the mechanisms underlying food allergic reactions and systematic reviews in allergy.

Dr Boyle is an editor for the Cochrane Skin Group, Deputy Director of the Imperial College London Allergy MSc programme, Director of the Imperial College London translational Paediatric Research Unit, and an Associate Editor for Clinical and Experimental Allergy.


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Giorgio Giraffa
Giorgio Giraffa
Dairy Microbiology

CRA-Research Centre for Forage and Dairy Productions, Lodi, Italy



Giorgio Giraffa

Dr. Giorgio GIRAFFA, born at Milano and living at Gorle (BG), via Marconi 1/C. Degree in Food Science and Technology, University of Milano (Italy). Post-doctoral specialization on Biotechnology at the University of Milano (Italy).

Since 1998: contract professor on Dairy Microbiology, CRA-Research Centre for Forage and Dairy Productions, Lodi, Italy. Stages carried out abroad at INRA (France), Pasteur Institute (Paris, France) and NIZO (The Netherlands) for overall 12 months. Present qualification and professional competences: Director of the Research Centre for Forage and Dairy Productions (CRA-FLC) of Lodi since 2010. Belonging to several Editorial Boards of international journals.

Expertise: dairy microbiology, food biotechnology. He is experienced in molecular methods such as probe hybridization, RAPD-PCR, species-specific PCR, RFLP techniques, LH-PCR and DNA sequencing for routinely identification and characterization of isolates.

Research topics: Genetic, molecular and phenotypic identification and characterization of lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Microbial characterization of traditional Italian cheeses. Microbial ecology of both useful and unwanted dairy bacteria. Microbial interactions and dynamics in fermented food. Genetics and physiology of LAB phages.

Scientific production: Author of more than 200 printed works, a half of which on international journals with medium-high impact factor, and speeches at national and international congresses.


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Dr R Hemalatha
R Hemalatha
National Institute of Nutrition

Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad, India



R Hemalatha

Dr Hemalatha holds MBBS and MD degrees. Currently she is Heading Clinical Division and Microbiology & Immunology at NIN, ICMR; and holds Joint Secretary Position of Nutrition Society of India. She has carried out extensive research in the realm of Nutrition, infection and Immunity with special emphasis on reproductive tract infections and child health and guides PhD and Post Doc’s in clinical and basic Nutrition sciences. Dr Hemalatha has conducted a series of studies on zinc status in children and has contributed significantly in a huge multicentric study on HIV in high risk groups that had both behavioural and biological components. She has conducted extensive clinical and basic studies on probiotics and published several papers in reputed journals. Currently, she is working on gut and vaginal microbiome profiling in pregnant women to explore their link with pregnancy and birth outcomes.


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Manoj Kumar
Manoj Kumar
National Institute of Nutrition

Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad, India



Manoj Kumar

DR. MANOJ KUMAR earned his PhD in Dairy Microbiology from National Dairy Research Institute (ICAR), Karnal, Haryana, India, in 2009. After that he joined as a postdoctoral fellow in ICMR. At present, he is working as a young scientist DST in National Institute of Nutrition India. As a researcher, he has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed papers in reputed journals and also several book chapters and popular articles. He has received several awards, and is also acting as Editorial Board Member and Prestigious Reviewer for several journals of national and international status. worked as a Remote reviewer in European research council.

His main research area is to explore indigenous probiotic bacteria against metabolic diseases and cancer. He had performed clinical trial to check the efficacy of probiotic in obese subjects. Currently he is working to develop a recombinant probiotic strain expressing chimerc immunogenic protein to exclude adhesion, transepithelial translocation, and cell cytotoxicity of food borne pathogens competitively in vivo and in vitro model. He expected that a genetically engineered probiotic would exert its antimicrobial effect against the target pathogen directly through the expression of a foreign gene and indirectly through beneficial properties inherent in indigenous probiotics.


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Muriel Derrien
Muriel Derrien
Danone Nutricia Research

Palaiseau Cedex, France



Muriel Derrien

Dr Muriel Derrien is senior scientist at Danone Research (Palaiseau, France). She started working in the gut microbiota field in 2002 at Wageningen University (the Netherlands) for her PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof. Willem de Vos, where she studied specifically mucin-degrading bacteria and their association with host. She continued for her post doc on more inter-disciplinary projects within the dutch consortium Top Institute in Food and Nutrition, where she was part of several projects and brought microbiota expertise to elucidate interaction between microbiota and host in studies mostly focused on nutrition. In 2010, she joined Danone Research in France, where she is currently leading national and international projects with top researchers. Her passion in gut microbiota led her now to elucidate how selected probiotics from Danone collection as well as nutrition impact gut microbiota members and therefore human health. Research is based on clinical trials by next –generation sequencing, as well as more targeted preclinical models (in vivo and in vitro).


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Full Schedule



Conference Fees

Registration fee includes:

  • Attendance at the conference
  • Conference materials, programs
  • Refreshments during the conference
  • Receptions and banquet (including alcoholic beverages)
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Accommodation on site (en suite) at Royal Holloway, 3 nights (29th, 30th June and 1st July). Note that additional nights, before and after, can be booked but at an additional cost.



  • Student
  • Academic
  • Commercial


Early Bird (before 30th April 2015)

  • £700
  • £750
  • £1,050
Register

Regular (from 1st May 2015)

  • £750
  • £800
  • £1,100
Register

3 or more from 1 institution

  • 10% discount
  • 10% discount
  • 10% discount
Register

Sponsors


Main Event Sponsor

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Media Partner


Beneficial Microbe

The organisers are pleased to be able to work with the prestigious journal Beneficial Microbes as the Media Partner.

Please visit their website BM.



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