We request funds to support a conference entitled """"""""The Rochester Conference on Oral Biology: Post-genomics for the Oral Microbiome"""""""". The goal of this conference is to expand the use of post-genomic and systems biology approaches for the study of oral infectious disease and host-response. Oral microbial diseases occur on the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth. The microbial content of the mouth is substantial and oral infections are polymicrobial in nature. The ability of oral microbes to infect the mouth and maintain themselves in the face of competition from other bacteria, and resistance mechanisms of the human host, is the subject of ongoing research. The NIH Oral Microbiome project was undertaken to estimate the number and types of bacteria found in the human mouth, in health and disease. To date, the microbiome project has resulted in the identification of a large number of bacterial species in the oral cavity. Many oral species, identified from 16S rRNA sequences, have not yet been cultivated. Moreover, the majority of oral bacteria lack genetic systems and models of disease. Traditional approaches for evaluating specific genes in oral bacterial pathogenesis remains highly useful, where possible. However, there is a great need to find ways to accelerate our understanding of how the multitudes of oral micro-organisms interact with each other and with the human host. The proposed Conference will facilitate our goal by bringing together scientists who are working in the field of oral microbiology with scientists outside of the field who are using methods for mathematical modeling of polymicrobial diseases;proteomic approaches to evaluating microbial community metabolic networks;and genome-wide screens for bacterial genes involved with health or disease. The conference will draw upon established investigators;junior investigators;and, graduate students. The participating speakers are international in scope and will cover oral infectious disease from the perspective of caries, periodontal disease and host-inflammatory responses. Speakers from outside the oral research community, who work with other pathogens and on bacterial communities found in environmental circumstances outside of human hosts, will also participate. Collectively, the conference will foster an exchange of ideas, concepts, and methodologies with the goal of advancing our ability to treat, and ultimately prevent, oral infectious disease.
This proposal seeks financial support for a conference of scientists who will meet to discuss new ways to prevent bacterial diseases in the mouth. The scientists attending the conference have knowledge and expertise about the study of complex bacterial diseases, like those in the human mouth. We expect that the conference will speed the development of new treatments and prevention of oral disease.