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Session 9

Microbiome 2: Impacts on toxicity and New Dimensions for Risk Assessment and Drug Development

Programme of the Session

  • S09-01
    A Drug Discovery Perspective on the Microbiome

    James Brown
    Computational Biology, GlaxoSmithKline, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, United States
  • S09-02
    Host-associated microbiota is required for neurobehavioral development in zebrafish and is targeted by environmental chemicals 

    Tamara Tal1, Drake Phelps2, Nichole Brinkman3, Scott Keely3, Emily Anneken3, Deborah Hunter1, Alexander Gearhart2, Doris Betancourt4, Charles Wood
    1Integrated Systems Toxicology Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, RTP, NC, United States; 2Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, RTP, NC, United States; 3System Exposure Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Cincinnati, OH, United States; 4Air Pollution Prevention and Control Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, RTP, NC, United States 
  • S09-03
    The microbiome in the activation vs. detoxification of chemical carcinogens 

    Shana Sturla    
    Department of Health Sciences and Technology, Laboratory of Toxicology, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • S09-04
    Human microbiota and mycotoxins: biotransformation, impact on toxicokinetics and relevance for toxicity

    Doris Marko
    Food Chemistry and Toxicology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • S09-05
    Toxicological risk assessment and the microbiome 

    Rodney Dietert

    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States

Session Abstract

The microbiome has emerged as a key regulator of disease. A shift in the microbial community, or dysbiosis, is correlated with the development of cancer, immune and cardiovascular diseases, decreased mental abilities and other behavioral affects. Evidence suggests a strong interaction between the gut microbiome, the gut and the well-being of the host.  Key functionality of such interactions involve modulating exposures and susceptibility to drugs and chemicals in foods and the environment.  These may be sequestered or altered by microbes, essentially acting as an additional organ system potentially equal in importance to the liver. Scientists are now starting to unravel microbiome–host interactions, including small molecules produced or altered by the microbiome that may drive this interaction. Growing knowledge suggests a need to identify molecules produced by the gut microbiota, the development of detection method and the re-evaluation of chemical safety to account for the impact of gut microbial influences that can vary greatly from individual to individual. These issues will be addressed in a two-part workshop, starting with this session, Microbiome I, which focused on systems-wide approaches in the determination of gut microbiome composition, organization, interactions, and the identification and detection of molecules produced.  In this, the Microbiome II workshop, a focus will be on understanding the toxicological impact of microbes, microbial communities and chemical transformations.  Findings involve the discovery and validation of biomarkers for gut microbiota composition and function.   The workshop combines presentations concerning how gut microbiota alter chemical toxicants, cutting-edge experimental model systems for evaluating microbiota influences in human and environmental toxicology, perspectives on relevance in drug development, and the challenges for risk assessment to account for microbial influences and their large variability.
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