The dominant infant microbiota member Bifidobacterium

Wain Medal Lecture 2019

Harnessing our microbial ‘Guardians of the Gut’ is the title of the Wain Medal Lecture 2019, on Wednesday 30 October at 17.00. The lecture will be given by Dr Lindsay J Hall, Microbiome Group Leader & Wellcome Trust Investigator for Norwich-based Quadram Institute Bioscience.

The human microbiome has emerged as a central player in human health and wellbeing; modulating our immune system, providing resistance to pathogenic microbes, and helping to digest the food that we eat. Importantly, birth and the first 1000 days represents a critical developmental window in which microbes and their human host ‘communicate’, laying the foundations for lifelong health.

It is now recognised that disturbing this fledgling microbial ecosystem has both short- and long-term consequences such as increased risk of infection, allergy, and chronic inflammatory diseases. Thus, understanding the factors that modulate the microbiome during the first stages of life, during pregnancy, and in infancy, is a key research focus.

In this Wain Medal lecture, Dr Hall will discuss the important roles the microbiome plays, particularly during early life, including recent clinical work relating to beneficially modulating the preterm infant microbiome, and our mechanistic studies using model systems to determine mode-of-action for specific microbiota members (ie Bifidobacterium), with a key focus on developing novel live biotherapeutics for improving infant health.

The lecture will take place in Woolf Lecture Theatre on Canterbury campus. Admission is free and open to all.

Picture shows: The dominant infant microbiota member Bifidobacterium.