One week to the probiotic conference: what to expect!

Here we are. We are exactly one week away from Global Engage’s probiotic conference in Miami. I am brimming with excitement at how close we are to being at the meeting place of probiotic and microbiome R&D. The opportunity to watch thought leaders discuss the future of the industry was the very thing that drove me to report about it for you all. With over 75 speakers ready to take the stage next week, the conference promises to be one filled with knowledge, networking opportunities, and microbes in the spotlight for medicine. With that in mind, let me give you a snapshot of the many talks that will populate the compelling conference.

How can we harness the human microbiome in personalized medicine?

The refinement of current treatment approaches based on genetic, environmental, and lifestyle variables is a key tenet of precision medicine. The opportunity to refine medical regimens for groups of patients has driven biotech companies to redouble their efforts to study the many variables that impact disease outcomes. This, in turn, has caused precision medicine to sustain itself as a fast-growing field in the biotech industry.  

Studying the human microbiome, its variation between people and longitudinal alterations within a person has become a key aspect of precision medicine. Right off the bat, the conference will focus on this fact by asking how we can leverage the human microbiota to treat a wide range of diseases.

With that said, the first day of proceedings features an all-star lineup of speakers standing as innovators in microbiome and probiotic research.

  • Kicking off the conference is Adam Baker, Head of Discovery at Chr. Hansen. For his keynote address, he will provide a thought-provoking discussion that argues the importance of integrating information about the dynamic human microbiome into precision medicine. With the explosion of probiotic research in the field, his talk will set the tone of the conference, providing essential insights that will further accelerate probiotic R&D.
  • The rest of the day’s talks will expand upon the community of microbes inhabiting the human body and their role in each person’s health. Experts like Andrea Azcarate-Peril, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, and Zac Lewis, Chief Science Officer at Synbiotic Health, will discuss the potential of probiotics and prebiotics to maintain and restore patient health. They will shed light on the ways that the gut microbiota leverages the gut-brain axis to contribute to cognitive function. The speakers will also demonstrate the potential for probiotics to tailor dietary regimens for a person’s metabolic health.
  • Other thought leaders throughout the conference will also share how probiotics and prebiotics can be made marketable and safe. Christopher Damman, Associate Professor of Gastroenterology at The University of Washington, will discuss how a prebiotic fiber meal shake can improve quality of life and other metabolic measures for overweight adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Amy Smith, Global Regulatory Strategy Lead for Health Dietary Supplements at IFF, will also discuss the factors that impact regulatory considerations in developing and commercializing a probiotic product.

How do changes in the gut microbiome link with gastrointestinal diseases?

Continued efforts to study the human microbiota have led to an ever-growing body of literature that discusses the role that the human microbiota plays in mitigating and driving human diseases. On that note, we will also hear from other thought leaders who will discuss the research linking the human microbiota with health and disease. These talks cover a wide range of topics that ultimately sheds light on how care providers can treat disease by leveraging the human microbiota.

  • Among these topics is the fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), an approach that takes a fecal solution from a donor into the intestines of a recipient. Sahil Khanna, Associate Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, and Jose Clemente, Associate Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, will take a closer look into the challenges and opportunities in using FMT for treating the gut microbiota. They will discuss how we know that bacterial engraftment occurred and minimize the risk of transmitting infectious pathogens from a donor.
  • Ending the first day’s proceedings is Anders Damholt, Head of Clinical Development at Chr. Hansen. He will give a talk about the transfer of the human microbiota from mother to child. He will walk through the ongoing search for biomarkers that connect these microbes with health and present clinical case studies about probiotic inventions to manage patient health.
  • The conference will end with a series of talks sharing the latest research findings identifying ways to modulate the human microbiome for health. Hideto Torii, Deputy Manager at Manda Fermentation Co. will showcase the benefits of fermented foods in gut health. Anandh Babu Pon Velayutham, Associate Professor of the Department of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology at the University of Utah, will also give a talk discussing shifts in the gut microbiome associated with type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Be sure to visit the exhibition hall too!

Sponsors play a key role in making conferences happen. Throughout the conference, over 20 sponsors will have stations set up to showcase their latest products and services. These include CDMO services from Biose Industries, microbiology-based instruments from Microbiology International, and ‘omics services from Diversigen. Learn about the many new technologies emerging from today’s probiotic industry and enhance your probiotic research workflows today!

Why wait? Sign up now!

The probiotic conference in Miami affords attendees across the probiotics sphere extensive networking opportunities. Learn from top-class talks about the latest probiotic research and expand your horizons in the study of the human microbiota. Set up one-on-one meetings with potential collaborators and colleagues to boost your R&D capabilities and output. Finally, enjoy learning about probiotics underneath a sunny sky by beautiful Miami Beach and luscious Biscayne Bay! With so many professors and industry leaders taking center stage, this is a conference you don’t want to miss! There’s still time to register for the conference, and I’m eager to see you there!

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