Support is requested for a Keystone Symposia conference entitled Microbiome: Therapeutic Implications, organized by Drs. Justin L. Sonnenburg, Fergus Shanahan and Suzanne Devkota. The conference will be held in Killarney, Ireland from October 6-10, 2019. The microbial communities that inhabit the human body are connected to diverse aspects of our health. The plasticity and individuality of these communities promise great potential in the emerging vision of precision health, but formidable gaps to realizing this potential must be addressed. Critical challenges include the intrinsic complexity of dynamic microbial ecosystems, understanding how these microbes mechanistically connect to human biology, and identifying key therapeutic opportunities. This conference will bring together leaders across a range of disciplines from both academia and industry in microbiome sciences to present recent progress and innovative directions at addressing these gaps. This conference will provide a detailed view of the current status, future vision, and challenges of key modalities for predicting, diagnosing, and treating disease via the microbiome. In addition, there will be topics which augment the traditional biomedical paradigm of developing diagnostics and treatments with orthogonal approaches, such as pre-therapeutic prevention and health optimization strategies. Invited speakers will present key technologies and approaches for propelling the coming phases of basic and translational microbiome research. Finally, participants will receive key information about the current regulatory environment for microbial therapeutics. With the rapid expansion of translational microbiome efforts, this conference will enable synergies through the aggregation of knowledge and experiences from diverse body sites, disease states, and approaches. We combine facets of basic sciences including evolution, ecology, and technology development so an interdisciplinary collection of scientists can elucidate key steps for establishing a strong pipeline from fundamental understanding to therapeutic realization.
Due to a demand in research for the microbiome field to produce new microbially-based therapeutics, there has been an increase in the number of academic-industry partnerships. This has resulted in many discoveries and potential applications that offer great promise for treatment of numerous diseases, but they are still in their infancy as regulatory bodies struggle to keep up with this rapidly evolving field. This symposium will bring together multiple facets of microbiome therapeutic research to create an open dialogue and exchange of ideas that we hope will demystify challenges and promote solutions-oriented collaboration.