Microbiome-Nervous System Interactions in Health and Disease

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Marshall Ballroom East (Marriott Wardman Park)
Elaine Y. Hsiao, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
Gene-environment interactions contribute to numerous neurological disorders, but exactly how environmental risk factors are conveyed to genes and how such interactions influence brain and behavior, are poorly understood. The microbiota, a diverse consortium of trillions of microbes that inhabit the human body, is well positioned at this intersection, as its composition and function are dependent on genetic background and critically shaped by environmental factors. Importantly, the microbiota is now known to regulate several fundamental biological processes underlying health and disease. In this presentation, I will highlight increasing evidence for a role of the microbiome in modulating brain activity and behavior. In particular, I will discuss research on effects of the microbiome in regulating host serotonin biosynthesis.