HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The third “Bridging Biomedical Worlds” meeting, entitled “Frontiers in Human Microbiota Symbiotic Interactions” was dedicated to the vital role played by our host microbiota in human physiology, disease, and the development of new therapeutics. This Bridging Biomedical Worlds (BBW) conference series aims not only to facilitate the exchange of knowledge about key advances in major research areas, but also to boost communication and cooperation among scientists and clinicians from East and West. This year’s BBW conference covered a broad range of trending topics including: evolution of the host microbiota; microbes in the environment; host-microbiota interactions and the immune response; the nexus between diet, metabolism and the gut microbiota; overcoming the challenges of big data. This meeting took place in Hong Kong from May 23 rd to 25 th, 2016 and was jointly organized by the Fondation Ipsen, AAAS/ Science and AAAS/ Science Translational Medicine, and the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong.
All organisms, including humans, exist within a sea of microorganisms. A select few of them cause great harm, but most are benign and some are essential. In fact, many aspects of normal plant and animal development require benign microbial colonization and the establishment of specific relationships that have coevolved over millennia. This year’s conference addressed many exciting questions about our microbiota and its interactions with the host. How are these interactions beneficial for eco-systems and human health? How does early bacterial colonization influence development of our immune system and our brain? How does our gut microbiome preserve our health and protect us against devastating diseases like cancer or inflammatory disorders? Where are the opportunities for new therapeutics?
About the Bridging Biomedical Worlds series
The Fondation Ipsen and the American Association for the Advancement of Science decided to launch a new conferences series in 2014 entitled “Bridging Biomedical Worlds” not only to facilitate the exchange of knowledge about important advances in key research areas but also to boost communication and cooperation among researchers, clinicians, and industry scientists from East and West. Each year a ground-breaking topic is tackled with a local partner in a different country in Asia. The first conference was held in Beijing in partnership with the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and dealt with stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine. The second conference took place in Tokyo in 2015 in partnership with the Riken Institute and tackled neural circuitry and neurotechnology.
The Medical Faculty of The University of Hong Kong (HKU) is the longest established institution in higher education of Hong Kong. It was founded as the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese by London Missionary Society in 1887, and was renamed as the Hong Kong College of Medicine in 1907. The Faculty was deemed as the premier Faculty when the University was established in 1911. Serving Hong Kong for over a century, it has firmly established itself as a medical school of learning, innovation, and enterprising; it is a medical school of moral, vision, and care. The Faculty has always been at the forefront of medical research and development of new clinical services for the benefit of mankind. With our researchers’ toil and persistence, we have made important contributions to the study and treatment of cancers and liver diseases, and have made notable advances in tissue typing, spinal surgery, infectious diseases, in-vitro fertilisation, endocrinology and tobacco-related diseases. Based on existing strengths and critical mass, the Faculty has established five Strategic Research Areas, ie Cancer, Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Ageing, Infection and Immunology, Public Health, Reproduction, Development and Growth which explicitly break down boundaries and open up new domains of discovery, and promote cross-disciplinary investigation and collaboration. The Faculty has also set up Core Facilities that provide technical support to various research teams. All of these will translate into research that benefits patients and the community.
About AAAS/ Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science ( www.sciencemag.org) as well asScience Translational Medicine ( www.sciencetranslationalmedicine.org), Science Signaling ( www.sciencesignaling.org), and Science Advances ( http://advances.sciencemag.org/). AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 261 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS ( www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” not only by publishing the very best scientific research but also through initiatives in science policy, international programs and science education.
About AAAS/ Science Translational Medicine
Science Translational Medicine was launched in October 2009. The goal of Science Translational Medicine is to promote human health by providing a forum for communicating the latest biomedical research findings from basic, translational, and clinical researchers from all established and emerging disciplines relevant to medicine. Despite 50 years of advances in our fundamental understanding of human biology and the emergence of powerful new technologies, the translation of this knowledge into effective new treatments and health measures has been slow. This paradox illustrates the daunting complexity of the challenges faced by translational researchers as they apply the basic discoveries and experimental approaches of modern science to the alleviation of human suffering. A major goal of Science Translational Medicine is to publish papers that identify and fill the scientific knowledge gaps at the junction of basic research and medical application in order to accelerate the translation of scientific knowledge into new methods for preventing, diagnosing and treating human disease.
About the Fondation Ipsen
Established in 1983 under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the ambition of the Fondation Ipsen is to initiate a reflection about the major scientific issues of the forthcoming years. The long-standing mission of the Fondation Ipsen is to contribute to the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge by fostering interaction between scientists and clinicians. It has developed an important international network of scientific experts who meet regularly at meetings known as Colloques Médecine et Recherche, dedicated to three main topics: neurosciences, endocrinology and cancer science. Moreover the Fondation Ipsen has started several series of meetings in partnership with the Salk Institute, the Karolinska Institute, the Massachusetts General Hospital, the Days of Molecular Medicine Global Foundation as well as with the science journals Nature, Cell and Science. The Fondation Ipsen produced several hundred publications and more than 250 scientists have been awarded prizes and grants.
Isabelle de Segonzac, +33 (0)1 53 70 74 70