Scientists at Texas A&M University participated in a day-long Grand Challenges Symposium (sponsored by the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences) on the Effects of diet on cross-talk between gut microbiota and host physiology.
Recent evidence indicates that gastrointestinal-derived microbes (microbiome) may ultimately be the missing link to the development of chronic diseases in humans and may also explain the benefits of health-promoting diets. For example, targeted dietary interventions can modulate the gut microbiome for the purpose of favorably impacting gut biology, thus preventing a broad range of chronic diseases, including colon cancer, fatty liver disease, obesity, asthma and coronary heart disease.
The Symposium organizers (Robert Chapkin and Clinton Allred, Nutrition & Food Science, TAMU) brought together an interdisciplinary group of researchers with complementary skills in nutrition, genetics, microbiology, computational biology, cancer cell biology, and chemoprevention. In total, seven invited speakers, Drs. Wanqing Liu (Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wayne State University), Yuxiang Sun (Nutrition & Food Science, TAMU), Ivan Ivanov (Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, TAMU), Jimmy Crott (Nutrition Research on Aging, Tufts University), Christian Jobin (Infectious Diseases & Pathology, University of Florida), Yi Xu (Institute of Biosciences & Technology, TAMHSC), and Johanna Lampe (Cancer Prevention, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center) discussed issues related to the far reaching impact of gut microbiota on the initiation and treatment of chronic diseases. Ultimately, these investigators hope to submit a competitive research grant to the National Institutes of Health for the purpose of establishing a Center for Advancing Research on Botanical and Other Natural Products (Carbon) at
TAMU. The primary research focus of this Center is to identify plant-derived botanicals with the potential to favorably modulate the gut microbiome and thus benefit human health.