Talk title:The gut microbiome in health and diseases – moving from associations to causality
Talk summary:Monogenic diseases offer clear insight into the relation between the genome and diseases, but the importance of the host genome in relation to more complex multifactorial diseases has proven more difficult to establish. During the last decade it has become well established that the gut microbiota may play an even more important role in relation to metabolism and immune functions, and evidence has been presented that the gut microbiota may also affect behavior. However, the exact molecular mechanisms by which bacteria in the gut exert their actions still remain elusive. In this lecture I will summarize recent work from Copenhagen and Shenzhen demonstrating how distinct changes the gut microbiota are associated several multifactorial diseases, how analyses of the oral or gut microbiota can be used for early non-invasion detection and stratification of patients prior to treatment, and how integration of different omics-technologies and the use of mouse models allow us to move from association to causality. I will conclude the lecture by discussing possible functional consequences and perspectives of these findings.
Speaker: Dr. Karsten Kristiansen
Karsten Kristiansen is Professor of Molecular Biology and heads the Laboratory of Genomics and Molecular Biomedicine at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen. He is also Professor at and Director of the Institute of Metagenomics at BGI-Shenzhen. After graduation from the University of Copenhagen, he held research positions at the Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Genetik in Berlin and at the Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, Foundation Edmond de Rothschild, in Paris. He was full professor and head of Department of Molecular Biology, later Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, 1992-2008, before he was recruited as professor and Head of the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen in 2008. Central themes of the research of Professor Kristiansen concern the interaction between the host genome, the host immune system and the gut microbiota in regulating gut health and energy metabolism, and how interaction between different nutrients modulates energy homeostasis. In addition, his research groups now explore the interaction between the brain and the gut microbiota. For these projects his research groups use a combination of molecular biology approaches, animal studies, metagenomics and genomics. He has published more than 340 articles in refereed journals, many of which in high ranking journals such as Science, Nature, and Cell.