Talk Title: “Gut Feelings: Microbiome as a Regulator of Brain & Behavior”
This talk is hosted by Ann M. Graybiel
Abstract: The microbiota-gut-brain axis is emerging as a research area of increasing interest for those investigating the biological and physiological basis of neurodevelopmental, age-related and neuropsychiatric disorders. The routes of communication between the gut and brain include the vagus nerve, the immune system, tryptophan metabolism, via the enteric nervous system or via microbial metabolites such as short chain fatty acids. Studies in animal models have been key in delineating that neurodevelopment and the programming of an appropriate stress response is dependent on the microbiota. Developmentally, a variety of factors can impact the microbiota in early life including mode of birth delivery, antibiotic exposure, mode of nutritional provision, infection, stress as well as host genetics. Stress can significantly impact the microbiota-gut-brain axis at all stages across the lifespan. Moreover, animal models have been key in linking the regulation of fundamental brain processes ranging from adult hippocampal neurogenesis to myelination to microglia activation by the microbiome. Finally, studies examining the translation of these effects from animals to humans are currently ongoing. Further studies will focus on understanding the mechanisms underlying such brain effects and developing nutritional and microbial-based psychobiotic intervention strategies and how these interact with various systems in the body across the lifespan.
Bio: John F. Cryan is Professor & Chair, Dept. of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork and was appointed Vice President for Research & Innovation in 2021. He is also a Principal Investigator in the APC Microbiome Ireland Institute. He is a behavioural neuroscientist whose research is focused on the neurobiology of stress related disorders and the mechanisms underlying microbiome-brain interactions across the lifespan. Prof. Cryan has published over 620 peer-reviewed articles and has a H-index of 146 (Google Scholar). He is a Senior Editor of Neuropharmacology and of Neurobiology of Stress and is on the editorial board of a further 15 journals. He has co-edited four books and is co-author of the bestselling “The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection” (National Geographic Press, 2017). He has received numerous awards including from European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP), European Behavioural Pharmacology Society, British Association of Pharmacology, Physiological Society, American Gastroenterology Association and Neuroscience Ireland. He received the University of Utrecht Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research in 2013, UCC Research Communicator of the Year 2017, and was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Antwerp, Belgium in 2018. He received the Datta Prize from FASEB in 2022 and has been on the Highly Cited Researcher list in 2014 and from 2017 to the present. He was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2017. He was a TEDMED speaker in 2014, TEDx Speaker in 2017 and is a Past-President of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society. He is a Member of the 2022 Fens Forum Programme Committee and Chairs the Scientific Programme Committee of ECNP for 2022-2024.