3rd ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes

October 25 - 29, 2010 | Miami, Florida

Conference Scope

Biologists and biomedical scientists are becoming increasingly aware that animals and plants have coevolved with diverse assemblages of microorganisms that are required for normal health and development. Not surprisingly, the activity of these symbiont communities is also likely to profoundly affect all aspects of the host’s physiology and immunology. In addition, a more sophisticated grasp of these normal host-microbe associations is essential if we are to understand what goes wrong when pathogenic ‘interlopers’ disrupt the dynamic stability of the symbiont communities of hosts, including humans. Progress in these areas of investigation requires the application not only of the traditional approaches of biochemistry and genetics, but also of new conceptual models arising from bioinformatics and systems biology.  For example, advances in techniques such as metagenomics and metabolomics have been crucial in predicting the ecology of complex symbiotic communities, the role of metabolic “guilds” in creating community robustness, and the mechanisms underlying the symbionts’ role in disease resistance.  Similarly, the unraveling of the complex networks of metabolic and immune interactions between the microbial community and its host, is only now yielding to the successful application of systems-level analysis and modeling. An understanding of these complex interactions requires contributions from a diverse, multidisciplinary group of researchers, including microbial ecologists and geneticists, immunologists, systems biologists, and clinicians. The goal of this conference is to bring together a wide array of scientific expertise to foster the development of this rapidly expanding field of biology.  

Session Topics:

The role of beneficial microbes in host development and physiology
Genetics of beneficial host-microbe associations
Ecology and evolution of microbial communities
The role of microbiota in normal immune function
Metabolomics and metabolic modeling of host-microbe associations
Beneficial microbes at the interface of health and disease

Program Committee

Principal Organizers:

Ned Ruby, Ph.D.; University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 
Lora Hooper, Ph.D.; The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, TX  


Richard Darveau, Ph.D.; University of Washington, Seattle, WA  
Jonathan Eisen, Ph.D.; University of California-Davis, Davis, CA  
Heidi Goodrich-Blair, Ph.D.; University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Robert Knight, Ph.D.; The University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO
Dennis Mangan, Ph.D.; USC School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, CA  
Margaret McFall-Ngai, Ph.D.; University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
David Relman, M.D.; Stanford University, Stanford, CA 
Justin L. Sonnenburg, Ph.D.; Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Program/Abstract Book