Grant Abstract: 2023 Lactic Acid Bacteria Biology, Symbioses and Applications GRC

Grant Number: 1R13AT012427-01
PI Name: Marco
Project Title: 2023 Lactic Acid Bacteria Biology, Symbioses and Applications GRC

Abstract: The inaugural 2023 GRC Conference on Lactic Acid Bacteria Biology, Symbioses and Applications will explore cutting-edge research on lactic acid bacteria (LAB), a group of microorganisms that have a long history of study and use in medicine. Many LAB are applied as probiotics for human and animal health and are essential players in food fermentations. LAB are also members of human and animal intestinal and vaginal microbiomes and are used extensively in synthetic biology and (bio)engineering. Understanding the biology of these bacteria will improve our capacity to decode how certain microorganisms improve human health. Despite interest in LAB for well over a century, there remain many unanswered and challenging questions on the basic biology of these bacteria and how they interact with their hosts and indigenous microbiomes to impact health and disease. This GRC will establish an inclusive and exciting forum for diverse researchers of all career stages and backgrounds to meet to share LAB research and to develop strong networks for collaboration and support of early career scientists and under-represented minorities. The GRC will comprise 21 invited speakers, 16 talks to be selected from the abstracts, poster preview talks and interactive poster sessions. A `power hour' in the main meeting will focus on the challenges facing women in science. We aim to foster an interactive, friendly environment where ideas can be freely exchanged independently of background or seniority. To that end, the sessions and working meals will be supplemented with a vigorous social program to foster these interactions. The GRC program will be organized into nine morning and evening sessions entitled: (1) Evolution; (2) Metabolism; (3) Bacteriophage; (4) Cell surface and secreted compounds; (5) Intestinal symbioses; (6) Food ecosystems; (7) Vaginal symbioses; (8) Bioengineering, and (9) Synthetic biology. The GRC will thus promote the exchange of the latest ideas and techniques on LAB and deliver new collaborations while enhancing and promoting the careers of the next generation of scientists in this dynamic and exciting field. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The GRC conference on Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) is relevant to public health as these microorganisms are broadly applied as probiotics. Probiotic applications range from improving numerous facets of human intestinal, immune, behavioral and metabolic health. This meeting will bring together diverse and underrepresented scientists from different disciplines and career stages to discuss fundamental advances on LAB genetics, ecology, evolution, physiology, and metabolism to build collaborative networks to address current challenges and to identify new opportunities for therapeutic intervention.

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