Microbiota seminar series
The first lecture in the new CMM seminar series ‘Increasing the Clinical-Microbiota Cross Talk’ attracted a large audience who were all spellbound by Professor Lars Engstrand’s overview of how to understand the crosstalk between microbes and the host. Lars Engstrand’s research group explores the gut microbiome, aiming to generate knowledge and increase the understanding of what makes up a healthy microbiome and which biomarkers are associated with disease outcome. A major step towards the understanding of translational microbiome research was taken In 2016 when the Centre for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR) was initiated. CTMR is a collaboration between Karolinska Institutet (KI), Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) and Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Lars Engstrand is its program director. The microbiota profile is largely affected by environmental factors such as diet, antibiotics, vaccination and pets that provide many opportunities for therapeutic intervention and prevention of disease. ‘We need to reconsider results from all previous studies and the microbiota needs to be taken into account’ Lars Engstrand says as he finishes the lecture.
Professor Lars Engstrand.
The initiator of the seminar series, Louise Sjöholm, is pleased about the first lecture: ”It was fantastic to see that the interest for this topic was so great! I really hope that people will find the other upcoming spring seminars equally as interesting.” Louise’s idea with the seminars is to keep them on a more popular science level, with some examples of new exciting research results. In this way the seminars can inspire people to meet and collaborate from different disciplines. “I have tried to have many areas represented and I am proud to present such excellent KI researches as speakers talking about the brain, mouth, gut, skin and the connection to the microbiota,” Louise says. “But most importantly I want to get people to think outside the box!
Voices from attendees:
1) What are your expectations for this series of lectures? Is there anything in particular that interests you and you hoped to learn more about?
2) In what way is your research related to microbiota?
1. New types of research questions are always interesting. You never know in advance what to associate to when listing to such lectures and that is very intriguing. Thus my expectations are that the lecture series will continue to be as diverse as possible, yet still center on themes with a public interest based on central disease mechanisms or new methods.
2. My research is about the skin, which is the body’s largest organ and which protects us against external assaults. It is already known that the immune system is partly “trained” in the skin through a series of interaction with the microbiota and with skin cells. The mechanisms through which this takes place are of great importance, not only for dermatological diseases, but for other illnesses as well.
1. I expect exchange of knowledge about scientific context of the subject matter and the tools to study them; the broad perspective is interesting as the state of knowledge of the topic is still in a fairly early stage.
2. We investigate whether the intestinal flora is relevant to the psychological symptoms of ADHD and psychosis. In addition we are working on a national register study about the possible impact of antibiotic exposure prenatally and during the first years of the risk of psychiatric illness during childhood.