The human microbiome

Measuring and understanding our bacterial symbiotes

The full genome of the human-microbial symbiote is composed of our few (23,000) and their many (2 million). The products of this complete genome interact in complex and dynamic ways that we are only now beginning to fully appreciate. The human microbiome theme at the 2015 ASBMB annual meeting is focused on recent data concerning how we measure which microbes are present and how they interact in microbial communities, how microbes interact with us as their willing and grateful hosts, key chemistry performed by our bacterial symbiotes and how bugs affect drugs and our responses to diseases.

Who goes there? The usual suspects and known associates

One session, “Measuring and predicting microbial community dynamics,” will examine gut microbial genomics in action, both by computational modeling and by experimental analysis, including how bacteria sense and respond to the gut environment and the evolution of the great ape microbiome.

Being neighborly: chatting across the backyard fence

The second session, “Microbe-host interactions,” will focus on how our microbial symbiotes react and are resilient when inflammation is in play, specific molecules employed by bacteria to work with the mammalian immune system, and the detente constantly negotiated between the microbiota and the gastrointestinal epithelium.

Many chefs, one kitchen:  our commensal chemistry

The “Chemistry of commensal biology” session will cover recent data on how the microbiota that arises from milk impact the developing mammal, how glycans are uniquely processed by members of the gut microbiota and which ligands the microbiota use to exist in relative prosperity in the complex mammalian symbiotic landscape.

It’s on:  bugs and drugs

The final session, “Gut microbes, drugs and toxins,” will discuss our emerging ability to control how symbiotic bacteria process drugs and toxins, how the gut microbiota affect anticancer drug efficacy and how mobile genetic elements affect antibiotic resistance in human and environmental microbiota.

Andrew Goodman
Matthew Redinbo  
Organizers: Andrew Goodman, Yale University School of Medicine, and Matthew Redinbo, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill