Mauro Costa-Mattioli is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and the Director of the Memory and Brain Research Center (MBRC) at Baylor College of Medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of the Republic (Uruguay) and PhD in microbiology from the University Nantes (France). He performed his postdoctoral training in neurobiology at McGill University (Canada).
His laboratory has produced several important contributions to the understanding of the neurobiological basis of memory formation. More recently, his laboratory has swift fields to study how our microbial communities affect behavior, physiology and brain health.
Mauro has won numerous awards, including the International Eppendorf and Science Prize for Neurobiology, the Searle Scholar Award, Whitehall Scholar Award, International Society for Neurochemistry’s Young Investigator Award and the Michael E. DeBakey Excellence in Research Award. He holds the Cullen Foundation Endowed Chair in Neuroscience.
Prof. John F. Cryan
John F. Cryan is Professor & Chair, Dept. of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork (Ireland). He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He was a visiting fellow at the Dept Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia (1997-1998), which was followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania, USA and The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California (USA). He spent four years at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel Switzerland, as a labhead, Behavioural Pharmacology prior to joining UCC in 2005 where he was a senior lecturer in Pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy and in the Dept. Pharmacology & Therapeutics UCC. He is a principal investigator in the APC Microbiome Institute.
Assoc. Prof. Rochellys Diaz Heijtz
Rochellys Diaz Heijtz is an Associate Professor of Translational Neuroscience and Principal Investigator at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet (Sweden). Her research studies have a long-term goal of understanding the biological basis of neurodevelopmental disorders, with focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Her current research program includes basic studies investigating the influence of gut-derived microbial molecules, such as “bacterial peptidoglycan motifs” and their sensing molecules, on brain development and behavior, and clinical studies investigating the potential role of the gut microbiota in the pathophysiology of ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Prof. Jane Foster
Jane Foster is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University in Hamilton (Canada). She holds a research appointment as a Scientific Associate with the University Health Network and as a Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto (Canada). Jane is an active researcher in two large translational networks - the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders Network (POND) and the Canadian Biomarkers in Depression (CAN-BIND). Her research focuses on the role of immune-brain and gut-brain interactions on neurodevelopment, behaviour, and brain function. Jane hopes that her research accomplishments lead to a better understanding of how these relationships contribute to psychiatric disorders such as neurodevelopmental disorders, anxiety and depression.
Dr Stéphanie-Anne Girard
Stéphanie-Anne Girard is the Clinical Program Manager at Lallemand Health Solutions where she conducts and manages global human clinical trials of Lallemand probiotic strains and yeast formulations. She is responsible for the oversight of clinical studies aimed at better understanding of the properties, functions and beneficial effects of probiotics on health. She has a BSc in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University and a Masters in Pharmacology from the University of Montreal, where her research focused on the effects of probiotics on post-myocardial infarction depression in a rodent model. More specifically, her interest was the effect of probiotics on the kinetics of biochemical and physiological cerebral changes following a myocardial infarction. Her exposure to the probiotics field served as a platform for her Doctorate research topic; prebiotics. She received her PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Florida in 2012. She completed her Post–Doctoral degree through an Industrial R&D Fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in collaboration with her current employer, Lallemand Health Solutions.
Dr Saskia van Hemert
Saskia van Hemert has a PhD in host-microbe interactions, obtained at the Wageningen University. After a Post-doc at the Top Institute Food&Nutrition, she joined Winclove Probiotics in 2009. Currently she is working as a senior scientist with a focus on host-probiotic interactions. She is responsible for the scientific content of different research projects . Since 5 years the relations between probiotics and gut microbiota with brain health has her specific attention. She has several publications and research projects about probiotics in different areas related to the gut-brain axis, like mood, depression, ADHD/autism and migraine.
Prof. Elaine Hsiao
Elaine Y. Hsiao, is an Assistant Professor at University of California in Los Angeles. Her lab is mining the human microbiota for microbial modulators of host neuroactive molecules, investigating the impact of microbiota-immune system interactions on neurodevelopment and examining the microbiome as an interface between gene-environment interactions in neurological diseases. She aims to dissect biological circuits for communication between the gut microbiota and nervous system, toward understanding fundamental biological pathways that influence brain and behavior. Her work in this area, and on neuroimmune interactions in autism, has led to several honors, including the Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in Neuroscience, Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship in Neuroscience, National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award, Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Science and Healthcare and National Geographic’s Emerging Explorer Award. Elaine received her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Caltech, and her B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics form UCLA.
Prof. Michiel Kleerebezem
Michiel Kleerebezem obtained his PhD in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Utrecht in 1995. From 1995 until 2015 he has been employed at NIZO food research as a principal scientist. Since 2007 he has held a position as professor of “Bacterial Metagenomics and Host Microbe Interactions” at the Host Microbe Interactomics Group of the Wageningen University where he was full-time appointed in 2015.
His expertise centers around the genomics, molecular biology and physiology of bacteria, with a special focus on lactic acid bacteria, probiotics, and the human (intestinal) microbiota. In recent years he has expanded his field to the (post-genomic) molecular analysis of mechanisms of communication between bacteria and the mucosal tissues of the host.
Prof. Aletta Kraneveld
Aletta Kraneveld, full professor Interdisciplinary Translational Pharmacology at the Faculty of Science and the faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Utrecht University has published >100 papers (H-index: 35). Besides science, she is an active member of several (advisory) boards of (inter)national scientific organizations.
The Kraneveld group is focusing research to in depth study the role of the gut-immune-brain-axis in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders including the interaction of microbiota and their fermentation products with the immune and nervous system. Aletta Kraneveld has set up a program that is a (inter)national neuro-immune platform where academia and industry meet for research on the gut-immune-brain axis as target for medicine and medical food concepts.
Prof. Marion Leboyer
Marion Leboyer, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Paris Est (UPEC) in France. She is head of the department of Psychiatry and Addiction (H Mondor, Créteil). She runs the Inserm laboratory “Translational Psychiatry” and she is the executive director of the FondaMental Foundation (www.fondation-fondamental.org). She has authored or co-authored more than 400 peer-reviewed international publications (H factor = 71). Her research efforts have contributed to identification of genetic and environmental risk factors, as well as immune dysfunctions (infections, inflammation, auto-antibodies) in major psychiatric disorders.
Dr Filip Scheperjans
Filip Scheperjans, MD, PhD, studied medicine at the University of Düsseldorf (Germany) and gained international experience as a visiting student in London, New York and Helsinki. He received the award for the best thesis of the medical faculty of the University of Düsseldorf in 2008. Now living in Finland he works as neurologist and clinical researcher at the Department of Neurology of Helsinki University Hospital. His main research interest is the role of microbiota in Parkinson’s disease and his group was the first to demonstrate microbiome community structure alterations in Parkinson’s disease. For his groundbreaking work in this field he was awarded the Uschi Tschabitscher Prize for Young Neurologists by the European Academy of Neurology in 2014. Since 2015 Filip Scheperjans is also founder and CEO of NeuroInnovation Oy, a company providing state-of-the art clinical services to Parkinson patients and working on developing microbiome based treatments for PD. He is furthermore involved in several international multicenter trials related to Parkinson’s disease.
Prof. Iris Sommer
Dr Yuliya Borre
Yuliya Borre has nearly 5 years of CNS drug discovery experience having worked in the US industrial arena. She did her PhD in Neuropharmacology at Utrecht University, the Netherlands followed by postdoctoral fellowship investigating the role of intestinal microbiota in health and disease at the APC Microbiome Institute, Cork, Ireland. Currently, She is a Scientific Project Leader at the Danone Early Life Nutrition division. As a R&D ambassador for the Allergy program, She inspires the business, R&D colleagues and external collaborators; providing experimental solutions and building scientific communication strategy, substantiating current business and future gut microbiota-targeted innovations.
Dr Eldin Jasarevic
Eldin Jasarevic ia a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Center for Host-Microbial Interactions, University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in neuroscience at the University of Missouri and the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders studying the combined effect of maternal stress and diet on sex differences in brain development. Currently he is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Tracy Bale at the University of Pennsylvania. Ongoing research focuses on leveraging methods from neuroscience, microbial genomics, immunology and computational biology to identify mechanisms by which maternal adversity impacts the early-in-life development of the gut-brain-immune axis of offspring, and contribute to increased risk for neuropsychiatric disorders across the lifespan. He is a recipient of several awards including selection as a Kavli Fellow of the Kavli Foundation and National Academy of Sciences.
Elsbeth Pekelharing, M.Sc.
Elsbeth Pekelharing studied Health Sciences at Maastricht University, specializing in bioregulation and kinesiology. At the haematology lab of Prof Bos she focussed on the interaction of natural killer cells on dendritic cells in the context of immune vaccination. Her research master at the VU University in Amsterdam MPA (Management, Policy-analysis and Entrepreneurship in Life and Health Sciences) focusses on transdisciplinary methodologies within the health sciences. Since 2015 she works at Winclove Probiotics as science liaison. One of her focus area’s is the research in gut-brain axis; both setting up studies with universities and research institutes as validating the outcomes with the partners and healthcare professionals. One of activities within this context is being involved in the initiation of Mind, Mood & Microbes.
Dr Laura Steenbergen
Laura Steenbergen graduated in Cognitive Neuroscience in June 2014 and obtained her PhD on Cognitive Enhancement from Leiden University in June 2016, after which she worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Cognitive Psychology Unit of Leiden University. In June 2017, she moved to the University of Amsterdam, from which she received an Amsterdam Brain and Cognition talent grant. From a practical point of view, her research includes different methods, such as food supplementation (tyrosine, tryptophan, probiotics) and electrical brain stimulation (tVNS, tDCS). She is currently investigating the effects of food supplements and dietary habits on gut-brain interactions and cognition.