Microbiota and Human Health

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Open Session to the Public

We live with millions of microbes in our body, our microbiota, which influence our health. In fact, many of these microbes are beneficial to us. In this series of talks world experts in the study of the microbiota will present to the public its importance and how medicine interacts with it.

Free entry, but registration required.


Margaret McFall-Ngai

Carnegie Institution for Science, Pasadena, US

“The profound consequences of living in a microbial world”

Margaret McFall-Ngai is the Director of the Division of Biosphere Science and Engineering Research at Carnegie Institution for Science. Her research focuses on understanding how animals respond to interactions with beneficial microbes, using a squid and its luminescent, beneficial bacteria as a model. She has been a main proponent and advocate of a new perspective in biology placing interaction with microbes at the center stage of the biology of animals, including humans.


Martin Blaser

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, US

“The double-edged sword of antibiotics”

Martin Blaser is Chair of the Human Microbiome and Director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine at Rutgers University. His current research interest focuses on the role of the human microbiome on early life development, the impact of the use of antibiotics in its composition, and its effect on health and disease. Martin Blaser is the author of the book “Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues”, for the general public.


Michael Zimmermann

EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany

“How our gut bacteria change medical drugs and get drugged themselves”

Michael Zimmermann is a Group Leader at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). He is interested in understanding how the microbiota, with its genetic and functional diversity, chemically alters its environment. By using systematic approaches, he studies how pharmacological drugs affect and are modified by the microbiota.


Register Programme


Luis Teixeira, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência
Karina Xavier, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência
SymbNET – – Genomics and Metabolomics in a Host-Microbe Symbiosis Network
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian


Católica Biomedical Research Centre – Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade Católica Portuguesa
CIFAR, Canada
Origin and Function of Metaorganisms – Colaborative Research Centre 1182, Germany

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