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"Tell me how is your microbiome and I will tell you how you will be." This evening will explore the contribuition of the gut microbiome (the collection of microbes residing in the gastrointestinal tract) to human body health and disease. More specifically, our speakers are going to talk about gut-brain axis and the interplay of gut microbiome with cancer.
Human brain? Microbial brain?
Dr Jon Swann (Senior Lecturer in Microbiomics and Human Development)
The human body is colonised by trillions of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and archaea. The majority of these inhabit the gut, collectively referred to as the gut microbiota, and are known to play a role in human health and disease. Emerging evidence has shown the existence of a gut-brain axis - information exchange between the gut microbiota and the brain. Intriguingly, this microbial-host interplay has potential to influence brain development and function including regulation of emotional behaviour and cognition. Can our microbial passengers modulate the way we think?
Gut bacteria – a key player in cancer?
Dr. Jia Li (Senior Lecturer at ICL)
Approximately 500-1000 different bacterial species live in our gut and the composition of our gut bacteria varies person by person. Increasing amount of evidence suggested that the gut bacteria is very important in maintaining our health and play a role in the risk and development of different diseases, like cancer. Researchers have shown that the gut bacteria can directly or indirectly influence the cancer development and modulate the responses of patients to cancer therapies. We are now on our way to explore not only who these bacteria are but also what exactly they do.