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Research News

Penn Vet, Penn Medicine, and CHOP to Host Fifth Annual Microbiome Symposium Featuring New York Times Columnist and Science Writer Carl Zimmer

By Martin Hackett Published: Oct 11, 2018

Carl Zimmer[October 11, 2018; Philadelphia, PA] – Microbes are a critical component of human health. Scientists recognize that an imbalance in our bodies’ vast community of life-sustaining microbes can lead to heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune disease, and cancer. Methods for studying microbes have greatly improved in recent years. Researchers now understand the tremendous potential in managing microbe populations that can lead to positive, healthy outcomes. Microbes, Metabolomics and Modern Disease, presented by Penn Vet’s Center for Host-Microbial Interactions and the PennCHOP Microbiome Program, will showcase some of the cutting-edge research that is investigating not only how microbes cause disease, but how microbes can treat disease.

The two-day symposium will open with a FREE public lecture featuring New York Times columnist and science writer Carl Zimmer. His talk, “Science Reporting in the Age of Fake News,” will take place on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 6:00pm at Penn Vet’s Hill Pavilion located at 380 S. University Avenue. Mr. Zimmer will discuss present-day science news reporting and its implications for public policy within the context of eroding journalistic norms. Zimmer, also a national correspondent for life sciences publication STAT, is a three-time winner of the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award. In his most recent book, “She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity,” Zimmer chronicles his own experience with his children in understanding the advancing field of genetics. Registration for the public lecture is available here.

The symposium for the research community will take place the following day on Thursday, November 8, 2018 beginning at 8:00am at Penn Medicine’s Biomedical Research Building located at 421 Curie Boulevard. Admission is FREE. Registration for the research portion is available here. Scientists will discuss microbes as it relates to gut health, immune systems and infectious disease, environmental conditions, antibiotic resistance, and regenerative medicine.

Representing four of the world’s leading research institutions, the presenters are:

  • Michael Abt, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
  • Pieter Dorrestein, PhD, University of California at San Diego
  • Kathryn Hamilton, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Maayan Levy, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jessica Mark Welch, PhD, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
  • Cesar De La Fuente Nunez, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
  • Christoph Thaiss, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
  • Joseph Zackular, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

About the Center for Host-Microbial Interactions

Penn Vet’s Center for Host-Microbial Interactions facilitates collaborative projects that leverage genomics to study the intersection of microbes and disease. Researchers gain insight into how bacteria, parasites, viruses, and other organisms interact with their animal and human hosts in ways that either maintain health or lead to disease. Visit here for more information about the Center.

About the PennCHOP Microbiome Program

The PennCHOP Microbiome Program is a joint research program, between the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which advances the understanding of the microbiome to improve both child and adult health. Visit here for more information about the Program.