Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Southern Highlands Branch Meeting 2020-3

Gut Microbes“The Microbiome and Gut-Brain Axis”

Associate Professor Andrew Holmes 
School of Molecular Bioscience and the Charles Perkins Centre
University of Sydney

Date: Thursday, 21 May 2020 
Venue: Via email circulation

 While pandemic restrictions on group activities prevail, the South Highlands Branch continues to send members information and summaries from our scheduled speakers.


For this month, we had scheduled Professor Andrew Holmes to speak on the Gut Microbiome. Instead, we have decided to split the material on this subject into three sections as enumerated below.

  1. An introduction by Dr. Giulia Enders: “The gut, The inside story of our Body’s most underrated organ” (TedX video)
  2. A podcast interview of Associate Professor Andrew Holmes by Tom Ballard and Julia Zemiro: “What's the Story with The Gut by Giulia Enders?” (Apple Podcasts)
  3. A more detailed, academic lecture on the Microbiome by Professor Lora Cooper: “Mammalian Gut Microbiota” (iBiology video)

Biographical Details 

Dr Giulia EndersDr Giulia Enders is working to reveal how our gut is at the core of who we are. She is is a medical doctor and author from Germany. In 2012, her presentation “Darm mit Charme” (“Charming Bowels”) won her first prize at the Science Slam in Berlin and went viral on YouTube. Shortly after that she was asked to write a book which turned out a great success in Germany and around the world. Her bestseller Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ has sold more than four million copies and has been published in over 40 countries. Today Enders is doing research for her medical doctorate at the Institute for Microbiology in Frankfurt and has continued to communicate science in TV and museum projects.

 Associate Professor Andrew HolmesAssociate Professor Andrew Holmes, of the School of Molecular Bioscience and Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, has general interests in microbial diversity, its evolutionary origins and ecological applications. He undertook his PhD studies at the University of Queensland (1989-1992) before postdoctoral stints at the University of Warwick, UK (1992-1996) and Macquarie University (1996-2002). In 2002 he commenced his current position at the University of Sydney where he is now Associate Professor in the School of Molecular Bioscience and Microbiome Project node leader in the Charles Perkins Centre. Andrew’s current research is focussed on understanding the dynamics of gut microbial community composition, the mechanisms of host-microbe interaction in the gut and development of tools to enable management of the gut microbial ecosystem for health. He has particular interests in the relationship between our nutrient environment and its effect on host-microbiome interactions in health. He is a Senior Editor for Microbiology and The ISME Journal and a member of the Editorial Boards of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Environmental Microbiology.

 Professor Lora CooperProfessor Lora Cooper, a professor of immunology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, describes her career as “a random walk in science.” Her pursuit of science was aided by inspirational mentors who pointed her in directions she might not otherwise have taken. These unexpected turns ultimately led her to study the microbiome: the community of microorganisms that reside in and on multicellular organisms, including humans. When she began her studies, the microbiome was poorly understood and received little attention, but it has increasingly become apparent that the microbiome is essential for human health. In recognition of her work, particularly on how the microbiome manages to safely coexist with its host, Hooper was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015.


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