Winter 2021 Schedule

Click each day to view the schedule. Sessions are subject to change. 

All main Summit sessions will be available On Demand post event.

The Interactive Roundtable sessions are LIVE only and require a separate free registration.

Day 1 Tues., Dec. 7: The microbiome, diet and metabolic health

10:00 a.m. ET
Welcome Nathan Gray, Nutraceutic and Len Monheit, Trust Transparency Center

Co-Chairs Nathan Gray and Len Monheit will provide an overview of the Summit and share some market insights on this exploding category.

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10:15 a.m. ET
Prebiotics for effective gut microbiota and health outcomes Thaisa Cantu-Jungles, Ph.D., Hamaker Lab

In this presentation, we will discuss the idea of prebiotics which align to specific bacteria and/or bacterial groups for their effective promotion.  Moreover, we will discuss how prebiotics can be combined together into tolerable prebiotic mixtures for gut and overall health benefits. 

10:50 a.m. ET
Impact of Plant-Based Meat Alternatives on the Gut Microbiota of Consumers Miguel Toribio-Mateas, Ph.D.,

Are plant-based meat alternatives, typically seen as ultra-processed foods, as “bad” as we think? Microbiome researchers Miguel Toribio-Mateas and Adri Bester of the School of Applied Sciences at London South Bank University recently asked the gut microbes of 40 participants to answer that question. Be prepared for some interesting results that Toribio-Mateas will flesh out in his talk.

11:20 a.m. ET
Personalized medicine using clinical and microbiome data Eran Segal, Ph.D.
11:40 a.m. ET
The Microbiome: Beyond the Gut Sue Hewlings, Ph.D., R.D., Nutrasource

An overview of microbiome science. Thank you Nutrasource for underwriting this session. 

12 p.m. ET
The Science behind precision prebiotics for diverse health conditions James DiNicolantonio, Pharm D., AIDP

Prebiotics come in various types.  This session explores the science behind several precision prebiotics and the health conditions they address. 

Thank you to AIDP for underwriting this session. 

12:30 p.m. ET
Precision Microbiome Modulation: Using discrete fiber structures to precisely modulate gut microbiomes Edward Deehan, Ph.D
12:50 p.m. ET
From scientific progress to product launch: key considerations for commercial success Kevin Cencula, Kerry

Thank you Kerry for underwriting this session!

1:30 p.m. ET
Roundtable: Co-creating next generation microbiome products leading with prebiotics Hosted by: James DiNicolantonio and Samantha Ford, AIDP

Thank you AIDP for underwriting this session!

Please note this was a LIVE only session and will not be available on demand.  

1:30 p.m. ET
Roundtable: The importance of credibility: what’s the “right” level of scientific rigor? Hosted by: Kevin Cencula, Kerry

Thank you Kerry for underwriting this session! 

Please note this was a LIVE only session and will not be available on demand.  

Day 2 Wed., Dec. 8: Applied research and technologies in focus

10:00 a.m. ET
Welcome Back! Len Monheit, Trust Transparency Center

Day two explores applied research and technologies in the microbiome space, taking a deep dive into methodologies and technologies to measure the microbiome, and insights on how taking a systems biology approach to the microbiome and health, helping to drive new insights and findings. We will look at how different research and analysis approaches can be utilized and combined to drive new findings, in addition to how companies can use primary findings to identify NPD and further research opportunities. 

10:10 a.m. ET
Psychobiotics: A microbiome focused therapy for depression and anxiety Ted Dinan, Ph.D., Atlantia

The gut microbiota is altered in depression and anxiety disorders. Psychobiotics are live biotherapeutics with the potential to impact some psychiatric symptoms such as depression. 

Thank you Atlantia for underwriting this session!

10:40 a.m. ET
Decipher (D-SIFR®) the gut Pieter Van den Abbeele, Cryptobiotix

Cryptobiotix pushes the boundaries of preclinical gastrointestinal research with their novel D-SIFR® technology and its unparalleled throughput and biorelevance. The platform has been validated both at functional and compositional level to provide predictive data during both early R&D screenings and subsequent in-depth characterisation of food products and therapeutics, allowing to accelerate and de-risk product development.

11:10 a.m. ET
Innovating Microbiome Testing Kristofer Cook, Carbiotix

The individual and ever-changing nature of the human gut microbiome presents a number of challenges when developing and administering dietary, medicinal and lifestyle interventions geared towards targeting specific diseases or simply improving overall gut health. One can thus argue that a high level of personalisation is needed to verify both the suitability and efficacy of an intervention over time. Both of these factors are predicated on the successful collection and analysis of reliable gut microbiome samples for both research and consumer applications. Thus, access to low-cost, multi-sample, longitudinal microbiome testing providing functional data will play a key role in the successful development and deployment of microbiome interventions going forward.


11:30 a.m. ET
Genotype-to-Phenotype Microbiome Profiling, Methodology and Applications Andrei Osterman, Ph.D., Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

We have applied and extended a bioinformatics methodology of genome-based pathway reconstruction toward in silico prediction of >100 metabolic phenotypes capturing major nutritional requirements and capabilities across a collection of >2,500 sequenced genomes representing human gut microbiota (HGM). The obtained expert-curated reference collection was successfully applied for a predictive phenotype profiling and comparative analysis for numerous HGM samples. In collaboration with the team of Dr. J. Gordon (at WUSTL), we are exploring the application of this methodology for rational development of therapeutic foods and nutritional supplements for correction of dysbiosis-related syndromes, including in children suffering from the consequences of severe acute malnutrition. The developed technology was licensed from SBP by a biotech startup Phenobiome (of which I am a co-founder) pursuing its applications for a development of various products and personalized solutions promoting health and wellness. 

12:10 p.m. ET
Defining A Healthy Gut Microbiome: Insights from Analyzing Deeply Phenotyped Human Cohorts Tomasz Wilmanski, Ph.D. ISB
  • Tomasz Wilmanski
    Tomasz Wilmanski

Despite a vast number of studies on the human gut microbiome, defining a healthy gut microbial community remains elusive. Through paired measurements of stool sequencing data with thousands of analytes in the host, we are better able to contextualize gut microbiome functions across large and diverse populations. Findings from our multi-omics analyses point toward specific blood metabolites in the host that may complement traditional stool sequencing for monitoring and optimizing gut microbiome health. 

12:40 p.m. ET
Association vs. Causation: Transcending Confounders in Microbiota Research Ivan Vujkovic-Cvijin, Ph.D., Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Low concordance between studies that examine the microbiota in human diseases is a pervasive challenge that limits capacity to identify causal relationships between host-associated microbes and pathology. We have recently identified several human lifestyle and physiological characteristics that, if not evenly matched between cases and controls, confound microbiota analyses to produce spurious microbial associations with human diseases. Development of precision microbiota editing tools to directly assess the role of the microbiota in human health and disease constitutes a critical step to advance microbiota science. 

1:15 p.m. ET
Roundtable: Things to consider when you are developing a clinical program Hosted by: Barry Skillington, Atlantia

Before and while making decisions around commercial research projects, some basic questions need to be answered in advance. This roundtable will take a quick look at the types of questions that a CRO may ask while in the process of drafting your proposal and what kind of information you will need form your organisation before committing to a considerable commitment.

Please note this was a LIVE only session and will not be available on demand. 

Thank you Atlantia for underwriting this roundtable!

Day 3 Thurs., Dec. 9: Business & Strategy

10:00 a.m. ET
Welcome! Traci Kantowski, Trust Transparency Center

Our final day explores the business and investment landscape relating to the microbiome, looking at how companies can innovate and make smart strategic decisions from microbiome science and trends data. We will explore the investment landscape, discussing what investors are looking for from companies in the space, before digging into how companies can use trends and analytics data in a smart way. Our final day rounds off with a session exploring how companies can improve communication and marketing in the microbiome space.  

10:05 a.m. ET
What the @#@#'biotic are consumers thinking? Len Monheit, Trust Transparency Center

Food & Supplements: prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics trends and insights.

10:25 a.m. ET
Misinterpretation and Distortion of Trend and Scientific Data Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
10:50 a.m. ET
Interactive Q&A with Len Monheit and Kantha Shelke Ph.D. Len Monheit & Kantha Shelke
11:00 a.m. ET
Investing in the Microbiome – Growth of an Industry and Emerging Opportunities Denise Kelly, Ph.D., Seventure

Denise will cover topics like: 

  • A decade of growth in the microbiome industry?
  • What are the emerging hot areas?
  • What are the latest investment trends?
  • What are investors looking for?
11:30 a.m. ET
The Ferment about Fibers and Phenols? Chris Damman, M.D., UR Labs

A diet composed largely of plant-based whole foods (grains, nuts, beans, fruits, and vegetables) has consistently been linked to favorable health outcomes, and a diet consisting of ultra-processed foods has been linked to poor health outcomes (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome and depression).  What is it that makes whole foods healthy and current ultra-processed foods unhealthy?  Added vilified nutrients like sugar, salt, and saturated fat have largely been the focus of the nutritional discourse to date, but processing of whole grains, and low consumption of plant-based whole foods, have with equal profundity lead to a flip-side and less-discussed deficit of critical nutrients such as fiber and phenolic compounds. Indeed, less than 10% of the US population currently meets the USDA’s recommendation for fiber intake and it is the single ingredient with the greatest deficit in our diet.  Phenols and other phytochemicals in plant-based foods are also rising in recognized importance.  Fiber and phenols both serve as prebiotics that modulate our gut microbiome.  The microbiome in turn, converts them to antioxidants, b-vitamins, short chain fatty acids, and neurotransmitter precursors that are critical for our metabolic, immunologic, gastrointestinal, and mental health.  In fermented foods, naturally present microbes outside the body also convert fibers and phenols to health-relevant postbiotic compounds.  Understanding the rules of fiber, phenols, and fermentation will help sharpen our approach to food supplements and next-generation processed foods that combine the best of both nutrition paradigms:  the shelf-stability and favorable cost-of-goods of processed foods with the natural health-promoting benefits of whole foods.  

12:00 p.m. ET
How to translate microbiome science to effective consumer messages Maria Pavlidou and Peter Wennström, The Healthy Marketing Team

There is a lot of very interesting science about the microbiome and its benefits however the consumer awareness is still low. How do you translate science into effective consumer messages? Join Peter Wennstrom and Maria Pavlidou as they show us a simple methodology with a step by step approach to move from food science and technology to food success, with real market examples

Summit Closes