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Short Course in the Microbiome.

  • Author(s): Falana, Kimberly;
  • Knight, Rob;
  • Martin, Camilia R;
  • Goldszmid, Romina;
  • Greathouse, K Leigh;
  • Gere, Joanne;
  • Young, Howard;
  • Kuo, Winston Patrick
  • et al.

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Over the past decade, it has become evident that the microbiome is an important environmental factor that affects many physiological processes, such as cell proliferation and differentiation, behaviour, immune function and metabolism. More importantly, it may contribute to a wide variety of diseases, including cancer, inflammatory diseases, metabolic diseases and responses to pathogens. We expect that international, integrative and interdisciplinary translational research teams, along with the emergence of FDA-approved platforms, will set the framework for microbiome-based therapeutics and diagnostics. We recognize that the microbiome ecosystem offers new promise for personalized/precision medicine and targeted treatment for a variety of diseases. The short course was held as a four-session webinar series in April 2015, taught by pioneers and experts in the microbiome ecosystem, covering a broad range of topics from the healthy microbiome to the effects of an altered microbiome from neonates to adults and the long term effects as it is related to disease, from asthma to cancer. We have learned to appreciate how beneficial our microbes are in breaking down our food, fighting off infections and nurturing our immune system, and this information provides us with ideas as to how we can manipulate our microbiome to prevent certain diseases. However, given the variety of applications, there are scientific challenges, though there are very promising areas in reference to the clinical benefits of understanding more about our microbiome, whether in our gut or on our skin: the outlook is bright. A summary of the short course is presented as a meeting dispatch.

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