Exploring Human Host-Microbiome Interactions in Health and Disease

07 - 09 September 2016Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK
Deadlines (at 23:59 UTC):
  • Bursary Deadline Closed
  • Abstract Deadline Closed
  • Registration Deadline Closed

  • Summary

    The 5th Exploring Human Host-Microbiome Interactions in Health and
    Disease meeting will once again bring together leading scientists and
    clinicians from the fields of microbiology, ecology, immunology,
    gastroenterology, dermatology and public health to discuss the latest
    developments in this fast-moving field.

    Recent studies have revealed the extraordinary complexity of the gut
    microbial ecology and its network connectivity to the metabolic
    regulation of important pathways in the host. Alterations in the
    composition of the microbiome have been associated with many
    non-infectious diseases including inflammatory bowel conditions,
    autoimmune diseases, cancers and diabetes. Studies on microbiota from
    other body sites are helping us to achieve a more comprehensive
    understanding of how microorganisms affect the host.

    This meeting will update current knowledge of how various microbiomes
    (oral, gut, skin, lung etc.) communicate with the host and the factors
    that influence these interactions. The programme will discuss the new
    developments enabled by metagenomics, metabolomics and other
    technologies. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in
    discussions on how to apply recent discoveries to disease processes,
    health restoration and maintenance. As in previous years, the warm
    welcome given to students and the open friendly atmosphere provide
    attendees with an enjoyable conference.

  • Programme

    The conference will start at approximately 12.00 on Wednesday, 7
    September and close at approximately 13.30 on Friday, 9 September 2016.
    There will be a workshop on data analysis from 9.30-12.00 on Wedensday 7
    September, before the main conference programme begins.

    Topics will include:

    • Host-microbe communication
    • Microbiome in chronic disease
    • New technology
    • Study design and exploiting the data
    • Microbes at key stages of life
    • Diet and the microbiome
    • Skin microbiome
    • Microbiome evolution
    • Lung microbiome
    • Mechanisms
  • Organisers / Speakers

    Scientific programme committee
    Glenn Gibson University of Reading, UK
    Gregor Reid
    Lawson Health Research Institute, Canada

    Cath O’Neill
    University of Manchester, UK
    Karen Scott
    University of Aberdeen, UK
    Colin Hill
    University College Cork, Ireland

    Keynote speakers
    Doug Kell
    University of Manchester, UK
    Paul O’Toole
    University College Cork, Ireland

    Confirmed speakers
    Bjorn Andersson
    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
    Lisa Barrett
    Dalhousie University,
    Debby Bogaert
    UMC Utrecht/Sheffield University, The
    Paul Bowyer University of Manchester, UK
    Carmen Collado
    UTU, Finland and IATA-CSIC, Spain

    Robert P. Dickson
    University of Michigan, USA
    Greg Gloor
    University of Western Ontario, Canada
    Audrey Gueniche
    LOREAL, France
    Ailsa Hart
    St Mark’s Hospital, UK
    Daniel Merenstein
    Georgetown University, USA
    Clarissa Nobile
    University of California, USA
    Majdi Osman
    OpenBiome, USA
    Barry Plant
    University College Cork, Ireland
    Jacques Ravel
    University of Maryland School of Medicine,
    W. Joost Wiersinga
    University of Amsterdam, The
    Neil Williams
    Nottingham Trent University, UK

    Conference organiser
    Jemma Beard
    Wellcome Genome Campus, UK

  • Registration / Accommodation

    Registration Fees:

    Student No accommodation £299.00
    Student On site twin accommodation £399.00
    Student On site single accommodation £461.00
    Academic No accommodation £399.00
    Academic On site twin accommodation £499.00
    Academic On site single accommodation £561.00
    Commercial No accommodation £499.00
    Commercial On site twin accommodation £599.00
    Commercial On site single accommodation £661.00

    The registration fee includes entrance to the lectures and poster
    sessions, an abstract book, meals (lunch and dinner) and refreshments
    during the conference. Breakfast will be provided for delegates who have
    booked accommodation.

    Registration deadline: Closed.

    Accommodation is provided for the nights of 7 and 8 September
    2016. Please note: there is limited onsite accommodation
    and this will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
    Therefore, early registration is recommended.

    If you wish to book onsite accommodation either side of the conference
    dates, please contact the Conference Centre directly.

    Travel visas
    Contact the conference organiser if you require a letter to support a
    travel visa application. Please note: letters will only be provided to
    confirmed registrants.

    Non-European Economic Area or Swiss nationals may be required to have a
    visa to enter the UK. 
    Early application is strongly advised, as this process can take 6-8 weeks
    or longer.

    Please visit the following websites for further information:
    UK Border Agency website: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/

    Information for general visitors and business visitors: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/visiting/business/business-activities/

  • Abstracts / Bursaries

    We welcome abstracts from all areas relevant to the main themes of the
    meeting, for both oral and poster presentations. Several oral
    presentations will be chosen from the abstracts submitted.

    Abstracts will only be considered from registered delegates. Please use our online abstract submission system and follow the instructions given to ensure your abstract is submitted correctly. All abstracts must be submitted by the deadline. If you are intending to submit more than one abstract, please contact the conference organiser prior to registration.

    The scientific programme committee will assess your abstract after the
    deadline has passed and you will be notified whether you have been
    selected for an oral or poster presentation.

    Poster boards onsite will accommodate 118 cm high by 84 cm wide (A0-
    portrait) of printed material. Accepted abstracts will appear in the
    conference programme book and poster boards will be allocated at the

    Abstract deadline: Closed

    Abstract guidelines can be viewed here.


    A limited number of registration bursaries are available for PhD students
    to attend this conference (up to 50% of the registration fee) from
    Wellcome Genome Campus Scientific Conferences.

    The following documents will need to be provided:

    • Abstract
    • CV
    • Covering letter
    • Letter from supervisor

    To apply, please contact the conference organiser.

    Bursary deadline: Closed

  • Workshop

    Welcome to the Simplex: analyzing your microbiome datasets as

    7 September 2016

    Gregory Gloor University of Western
    Ontario, Canada
    Jean Macklaim University of Western Ontario, Canada

    Findings from microbiome datasets in one lab are often irreproducible in
    another. For example, there was essentially no overlap of the taxa
    identified as distinguishing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease from
    health in 6 primary research papers. In part, this irreproducibility is a
    consequence of the use of inappropriate analysis methods.

    Data generated by high throughput sequencing has a constraint on the
    number of read counts imposed by the machine. For example, the same
    library will give different numbers of reads per feature (OTU or gene)
    when sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq or HiSeq instrument. Thus, the number
    of reads observed for a given sample gives no information on the number
    of molecules in the underlying sample, and indeed any dataset that can be
    reduced to a proportion or a relative abundance is a composition. These
    data are called compositional data, and must be treated as such for
    analysis. Compositional data behave very differently than normal count
    data because only relative information is available. Thus, operations
    such as addition and subtraction are not valid – meaning common
    statistical tests are misleading. Furthermore, covariance and correlation
    have unpredictable outcomes – meaning clustering, ordination and network
    analysis give spurious and unreliable outputs.

    Compositional data can be analyzed by examining only the ratios between
    features, because this information is conserved no matter the sequencing
    depth. Participants enrolled in this short course will be introduced to
    the compositional data analysis toolkit, and how to adapt it to
    microbiome, transcriptome or metagenome datasets. These datasets are
    sparse, containing many 0 values, and particular attention will be paid
    to showing how to adapt compositional data analysis to such data.

    After attending this short workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Use and interpret compositional biplots for exploratory analysis of their datasets.
    • Apply compositionally appropriate methods for outlier detection.
    • Conduct robust differential abundance analysis.
    • Use and interpret compositional association as a replacement for correlation between features.

    Participants should bring their own laptop with an up-to-date version of the R statistical programming language installed. Participants are encouraged to bring their own datasets for analysis, and example datasets will be posted online. A list of pre-workshop reading and R packages required for the course will be available upon registration.

    The workshop will take place at 9.30-12.00, before the main conference

    Please indication whether you would like to attend this workshop when
    registering for the conference or contact the conference organiser.

  • Sponsors

    We thank the following organisations for their support:




    If you are interested in supporting this event, please contact the
    conference organiser.