Diabetes and the Microbiome Research Symposium
October 27-29, 2014, Chicago, Illinois, USA
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The American Diabetes Association and the JDRF will convene national and global research expertise at the Diabetes and the Microbiome Research Symposi um. The microflora that colonize the gut of humans are diverse and numerous, and their collective genome is referred to as the microbiome. The composition of gut microflora is established within the first 2-3 years of life and is generally considered to be beneficial to the host, providing protection from colonization by pathogenic bacteria, metabolism of indigestible components of the diet, and modulating development and regulation of the immune system.
More recently, the microbiome has been increasingly recognized as a key component of host metabolic and immunologic function. The composition of the microflora can change or be manipulated (intentionally or unintentionally) by a number of factors including diet, prebiotics, probiotics, and antibiotics and other pharmaceutical agents. Changes in the microbiome can subsequently modulate overall inflammatory state and metabolic function in the host. For example, changes in the composition of gut microflora are associated with obesity and diabetes, and it has been demonstrated that intentional colonization of animal models with microflora of a particular composition can result in changes in inflammatory and metabolic status. Similarly, the microb iome composition of individuals at-risk for type 1 diabetes is distinct from that of unaffected individuals, suggesting that there may be a link between the microbiome and the development of autoimmunity.
While these observations clearly associate the composition of the microbiome to changes in host metabolic and immune status, the mechanisms by which these functional changes occur remain relatively unclear. It has been hypothesized that the microbiome may function by influencing fatty acid or carbohydrate metabolism, gut hormone concentrations, inflammatory pathway signaling, intestinal permeability, induction of pro-inflammatory states, and/or influencing the function of metabolically active liver and adipose tissues. The dissection of the relationship between the host and the microbiome is an exciting new field of research. If the microbiome can be shown to play a direct and important role in the predisposition for and development of diseases such as diabetes and obesity, it may also provide potential targets for treatment and prevention.
In addition to original research presented during the oral and poster sessions, the program will offer featured symposia, including lectures by world-renowned leaders in the field. The activity will focus on emerging science and the clinical implications of the microbiome in diabetes.
This activity is intended for scientists, physicians and other healthcare professionals with an interest in the field of microbiome research and how it relates to the development of diabetes, as well as diabetes prevention and treatment. It will provide a valuable opportunity for collaboration with other investigators in the field.
This symposium will address evidence-based expert opinion on what is known and not known about behavioral and metabolic systems and what additional research is needed. Upon completion of this activity, the participants will be able to:
- Cite current research findings regarding the relationship of the microbiome as a key component of metabolic and immunologic function.
- Discuss the link between the microbiome and the development of autoimmunity.
- Assess the composition of gut microflora associated with complications of inflammatory disease, obesity, and diabetes.
- Apply evidence that indicate the microbiome has a role in the predisposition for and development of diabetes to potential targets for treatment and intervention.
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