CRC 1182 Talk by Prof. Dr. Angela E. Douglas (Cornell University, Ithaca) – 30.01.2017

We are honoured to have Angela E. Douglas as our CRC 1182 seminar speaker talking about “Microbiomes Matter”. The talk will take place on Monday, January 30th at 4:15 pm at lecture hall E 60 of the Biology Center.

Angela is the Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Professor of Insect Physiology and Toxicology, at Cornell University, Ithaca. She is an established symbiosis authority and author of the book “Symbiotic Interactions” and coauthor of “The Biology of Symbiosis”. “Symbiotic Interactions” published first in 1994 became a classic by considering that “The common denominator of symbiosis is not mutual benefit but a novel metabolic capability, acquired by one organism from its partners”. Her current research interest is focused on Drosophila-gut microbe interactions and metabolic coevolution in cooperative symbioses.

Microbiomes Matter
Healthy animals are a habitat for microorganisms, most of which are benign or beneficial. It is becoming increasingly apparent that interactions with the resident microbiota modulate many aspects of animal function, including nutrition, immunity, behavior and more. Building on understanding of the composition of the microbiota and its functional capabilities, it is becoming possible to investigate how the microbiota interacts with animal physiological systems. For example, our recent research reveals that the Drosophila fruit fly becomes obese deprived of their gut microbiota, despite eating less than unmanipulated flies; and that the genotype of the host plays a critical role in determining the composition of the microbiota and its impact on host health and wellbeing. I will consider how model systems, including Drosophila, can be used to investigate the fundamental principles of animal interactions with their resident microorganisms, and also to inform biomedical strategies for improving the efficacy of probiotics and microbial therapies.