December  2019

Boston, MA

Day One
Thursday 15th November, 2018

Day Two
Friday 16th November, 2018

Registration & Morning Coffee

Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

The Role of the Gut-Brain Axis in Neurodegenerative Diseases

MJFF Activities in Understanding the Parkinson’s Disease Microbiome

  • Kuldip Dave Director, Research Programs, Michael J. Fox Foundation

An Epidemiological Study of the Gut Microbiome in Parkinson’s Disease

  • Natalia Palacios Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health, UMass Lowell

The Role of rgs10 in the Gut-Brain Inflammatory Axis in Parkinson’s Disease

  • Malu Tansey Professor, Department of Physiology, Emory University School of Medicine

Morning Refreshments & Speed Networking

Building Robust Preclinical Packages – From Mouse to Mechanism

Translational Approaches to Help Make Sense of Microbiota-Host Mechanisms

  • Jane Foster Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University


  • Reverse translation approaches in mice provide insight into how gene-environment interactions influence the microbiome
  • Host-microbe communication is reciprocal and influences brain structure, gene expression of stress-related and plasticity-related genes, stress-reactivity, and behavior
  • Big data and data sharing in a rapidly advancing field

The Role of the Gut-Brain Axis in Neurodevelopmental Diseases

Short Chain Fatty Acids- Microbial Modulators of Metabolism, Mitochondria and Mind- Implications in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

  • Derrick Macfabe MD, Co-Founder and Director, Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group


  • Discussing mechanisms derived from translational models and human populations where small molecule metabolites of the host microbiome may effect brain function and behavior
  • How are levels of these small molecules altered in relation to diet, birth practices, microbial populations, antimicrobials, metabolic intermediates and genetic endophenotypes
  • Are there potential therapeutic mechanisms to modulate small molecule metabolite metabolism to treat or prevent neuropsychiatric disease, or develop screening mechanisms for those “at risk” for these conditions

Lunch & Networking

Connecting the Gut Microbiota to Diet, Metabolism, Neural Activity and Behaviour to Develop Effective Microbiota- Based Treatments for Epilepsy and Improved Brain Health

  • Chris Reyes Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Bloom Science

Critical Roles for Microbiota-Mediated Regulation of the Immune System in a Prenatal Immune Activation Model of Autism

  • John Lukens Assistant Professor, University of Virginia School of Medicine


  • Autism has been recently associated with dysregulated immune responses and altered microbiota composition
  • Outlining a new study reporting the critical role for prenatal microbiota in the development of behavioural abnormalities in a murine model of autism
  • Discussing results that show the microbiota landscape can influence neurodevelopmental disease pathogenesis

Microbiomes of Autism Spectrum Disorder Patients Induce Behavioral Deficits in Mice

  • Gil Sharon Postdoctoral Scholar in Biology. Mazmanian Lab, California Institute of Technology


  • ASD fecal Microbiomes elicit behavioral deficits in colonized C57Bl/6J mice.
  • Colnization by ASD microbiomes changes the fecal and serum metabolome
  • Specific metabolites increased in control samples can prevent behavioral deficits in the BTBR mouse model of ASD

Afternoon Refreshments & Networking

Clinical Trial Design & Development for the Microbiome Gut-Brain Axis

Safety and Efficacy of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in a Population With Bipolar Disorder


  • Introducing the growing evidence linking the intestinal microbiota with the CNS in psychiatric illnesses
  • Sharing a new clinical study to assess the effectiveness of targeting the GBA through FMT, to treat bipolar depression
  • Discussing key considerations within clinical study design and objectives within a breakthrough area

A Clinical Trial in Asd Using Full Spectrum Microbiota – a Novel Microbiome-Based Intervention


  • ASD is associated with a variety of GI complications
  • Early data indicate treating ASD with full spectrum microbiota treatment may positively impact both GI and neurologic symptoms
  • Potential study designs to address above will be introduced

Searching the Intestinal Environment for Clues to the Etiopathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease

  • Kathleen Shannon Detling Professor & Chair, Neurology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health


  • Epidemiological and clinicalpathological studies in Parkinson’s disease lend credence to the concept of gastrointestinal dysfunction as a driver of pathology in the disease
  • 11 Published studies suggest microbiome changes in early and advanced Parkinson’s disease as well as in the Parkinson’s prodrome
  • Preclinical evidence supports a role of dysbiosis in Parkinson’s disease

Panel Discussion: Conducting Clinical Trials in the Gut-Brain Axis: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Valerie Taylor Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Women's College Hospital
  • Kathleen Shannon Detling Professor & Chair, Neurology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
  • Felice Jacka Professor, School of Medicine, Deakin University
  • Ulrich Thienel Chief Medical Officer, Finch Therapeutics Group

Chairperson Closing Remarks

Close of Conference Day One, Scientific Poster Session and Evening Drink’s Reception Hosted by the Microbiome Movement