Human Microbiome Mini-Symposium – Pregnancy and Early Life

Welcome to a mini-symposium with several international experts on the human microbiome. This is an excellent opportunity to meet, share and discuss human microbiome-related research, and connect the invited speakers with the research environment at UiT. 

The symposium is arranged as a collaboration between the Centre for New Antibacterial Strategies (CANS) and Veronika K. Pettersen’s young CAS fellow project “Infant Gut Microbiome Acquisition: Off to a Healthy Start”. One of the main topics will be how the gut microbiome modulates pregnant women's and neonates’ health. UiT trainees will also get the opportunity to showcase their work.

Utsikt fra fjellheisen i Tromsø
Utsikt fra fjellheisen i Tromsø - View from the cable car. Foto: Mark Ledingham, Tromsø kommune


The mammalian gastrointestinal tract accommodates one of the densest microbial populations known, the gut microbiome. The trillions of microbial cells, including bacteria, fungi, protozoa, archaea, as well as viruses, all take advantage of the nutrient-rich gut environment, but it is mainly bacteria for which there is evidence of benefits being provided to host physiology. Commensal bacteria augment host metabolic functions, stimulate the immune system, and protect against invading pathogens.

The gut microbiome also supports physiological changes during pregnancy and influences foetal development by microbial metabolites circulating in the bloodstream. Importantly, maternal microbes seed the neonatal gut at birth. Subsequent formation of the infant's microbiome happens alongside physiological maturation and represents a unique developmental window that lays the foundation for long-term health.

Still, the nature of the relationship mammalian hosts share with their gut microbiomes is convoluted, and research has so far elucidated only initial clues of the functions involved in microbiome-host crosstalk.

You can also attend the symposium via Zoom by using this link.

You will also receive a link to the Zoom meeting when you register.


Aud. Didaktikken (1.059) Chair: Veronika K Pettersen
09:00 - 09:10 Welcome
Veronika K Pettersen, Associate Professor, Department of Medical Biology, UiT
09:10 - 09:25 The effect of probiotic use on preterm infants’ mobilome and resistome
Ahmed Bargheet, Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Medical Biology, UiT
09:25 - 09:40 Strain-level identification in mixed bacterial samples
Dorota Julia Buczek, Department of Medical Biology, UiT
09:40 - 10:10 Diet and microbiota interactions during first 1000 days
María Carmen Collado, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology, Valencia, Spain
10:15 - 10:45 The microbiome in the first 1000 days of life
Omry Koren, Bar Ilan University, Israel
10:45 - 11:05 Break with coffee/tea and cookies
11:05 - 11:35 Determinants of infant gut microbiota composition and child health
Merete Åse Eggesbø, The Norwegian Institute of Public Health
11:35 - 11:50 Composition of Gut Microbiota of Children and Adolescents With Perinatal HIV Infection in Zimbabwe
Trym Flygel, PhD Candidate at pediatric research group, UiT/UNN
 11:50 - 12:20 Turn up the signal, wipe out the noise:
Studying Interactions using Microbial Model Communities
Johan Bengtsson-Palme, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
12:20 - 13:10 Lunch
13:10 - 13:40 To be announced
Seth Rakoff-Nahoum, Harvard, US
13:40 - 14:10 Perinatal factors driving gut bifidobacteria colonization in early life
Maria Del Mar Esteban Torres (digital), Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology, Valencia, Spain
14:10 - 14:25 Metagenomics-based methods for the detection of Klebsiella pneumoniae and associated antimicrobial resistance genes from faecal microbiome samples
Kenneth Lindstedt, Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Medical Biology, UiT
14:25 - 14:45 Break with coffee/tea and fruit
14:45 - 15:00 A vaccine based on enterococcal membrane vesicles
Theresa Wagner, Researcher, Department of Medical Biology, UiT
15:00 - 15:30 Microbiome sphingolipids and their impact on intestinal immunity
Eric Brown (digital), Broad Institute, US

Når: 30. mai 2022 kl. 09.00–15.30
Hvor: Auditorium Didaktikken (1.059), ILP-bygget (and on Zoom)
Studiested: Digitalt, Tromsø
Målgruppe: Ansatte, Studenter, Gjester / eksterne
Kontakt: Veronika K. Pettersen

Register here
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