Minding the microbiome: how a commensal gut bacterium treats autism-related symptoms in mice
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 – 5:30 pm
101 Lees Kubota Auditorium in the Guggenheim building
Elaine Hsiao – Biology; Mazmanian, Patterson, and Reisman labs
TITLE: Minding the microbiome: how a commensal gut bacterium treats autism-related symptoms in mice
In line with the staggering statistic that our bodies are comprised of over ten times more microbial cells than human cells, scientists are finding that the microbes that make up "us" play an important role in a variety of biological processes. Not least of these is brain development and function; recent studies show that microbes have the remarkable ability to impact neural activity and complex behaviors. Based on such microbe-brain interactions, we asked whether changing the composition of our gut microbiome could influence neural health and disease in a mouse model for autism, a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder that afflicts 1 in 88 children in the U.S. I will present collaborative work between the Patterson, Mazmanian and Reisman labs at Caltech on a potential microbe-based therapeutic for the treatment of autism-related gastrointestinal and neurobehavioral symptoms.
Light refreshments will be served at 5:00pm; lecture starts at 5:30pm. All members of the Caltech community are encouraged to attend!