- Bärbel Stecher | Professor | Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Bärbel Stecher | Professor | Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
B. Stecher is a Professor for Hygiene and Microbiology at the LMU Munich and an expert in microbiota-mediated colonization resistance and the pathogenesis of infections with non-typhoidal Salmonella, E. coli and related pathogens. Since 2019, B. Stecher is the deputy speaker of the DFG CRC1371 “Microbiome Signatures- Functional Relevance in the Digestive Tract” and coordinator of the DZIF TTU Gastrointestinal Infections since 2022. Her work is internationally recognized by several awards, including the Main Award by the DGHM and an ERC Consolidator Grant (2019). Her group uses synthetic microbial communities and gnotobiotic mouse models to mechanistically probe the interplay between the host, pathogens and gut microbiota. The Oligo-MM, a synthetic microbial community developed from preclinical microbiome research in mice is used by >50 research groups world-wide. B. Stecher ´s research also focuses on the mechanisms driving microbiome evolution and transmission of antimicrobial resistance in order to develop novel tools for intervention.
- Sabina Leanti La Rosa | Associate Professor | Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Sabina Leanti La Rosa | Associate Professor | Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Dr. Sabina Leanti La Rosa received her PhD in 2014 from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, working with Prof. Ingolf F. Nes and Dr Dag Brede on the biology of Enterococcus faecalis. She then trained with Barbara E. Murray, MD at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (TX, USA), investigating the genetic and biochemical mechanism of enterococcal pathogenicity. After that, Sabina spent three years in the lab of Assoc. Prof. Bjørge Westereng, focusing on the enzymatic mechanisms through which gut commensal Firmicutes degrade beta-mannans. In 2018, Sabina joined the lab of Prof. Phil B. Pope at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (the Microbial Ecology and Meta-omics group); her current research interests include 1) investigating the ability of diet- and wood-derived carbohydrates to modulate the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiota in humans, monogastric farm animals and fish; 2) the use of multi-omic tools to decrypt mechanistic connections between diet, host and its microbiome; 3) the mechanism through which gut bacteria break down food additives and human milk oligosaccharides.
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- Tine Rask Licht | Head of Research Group | Technical University of Denmark
Tine Rask Licht | Head of Research Group | Technical University of DenmarkProfessor Tine Rask Licht is Deputy Head of the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, and leader of the Research Group on Gut, Microbes and Health at this institute. She graduated as PhD in Molecular Microbial Ecology in 1997, and most of her research has revolved around the microbial ecology of the gut.
Today, her group focuses on effects of diet on the intestinal bacterial community, which they study in humans, animal models, and in vitro model systems. The research group has contributed significantly to the understanding of the role of human milk and complementary diet on establishment of the microbiota in young infants, and of the impact of the metabolic activities of specific bacteria on human health. Also, her group identified the link between intestinal transit time and bacterial metabolism in the human gut, and highlighted the impact of human donor variability in faecal transplantation studies with gnotobiotic mice.
From 2012 to 2018, Prof. Licht was heading the research center ‘Gut, Grain and Greens’, and she is currently heading the major research effort ‘PRIMA’ - towards Personalized dietary Recommendations based on the Interaction between diet, Microbiome and Abiotic conditions in the gut, funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. From 2018 to 2022, she was chair of the panel of Global Grants for Gut Health, supported by Yakult and Nature Research.
- Willem van Schaik | Director of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection | University of Birmingham
Willem van Schaik |Director of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection | University of Birmingham
Professor Willem van Schaik began his academic studies with a Master’s degree in Food Science at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, which was followed by a PhD in microbiology under the supervision of Professor Tjakko Abee, Professor Willem de Vos and Professor Marcel Zwietering on the regulation of the stress response by the alternative sigma factor σB in the foodborne pathogen Bacillus cereus.
He then did post-doctoral studies on an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship at the Pasteur Institute (Paris, France) on the regulation of virulence gene expression of Bacillus anthracis in the laboratory of Dr Agnès Fouet. He then moved to the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, where he worked on the comparative and functional genomics of several multi-drug resistant opportunistic pathogens, including Enterococcus faecium, Escherichia and Klebsiella pneumoniae. His group also worked on the gut microbiome of critically ill patients that receive intensive antibiotic treatment.
In 2017, he moved to the University of Birmingham, where he was appointed as professor in Microbiology and Infection. In the same year, he was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. His group studies the role of commensal bacteria in the human gut microbiome as reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes and the evolution of mobile genetic elements carrying antibiotic resistance genes in opportunistic pathogens. Prof Van Schaik has collaborations with researchers in China and Bangladesh to study the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in low- and middle-income countries. He is lead of the ‘Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance’ in the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Global Innovation. He has been Director of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Microbiology and Infection since Summer 2020
- Lynsey Howard | Head of Research | Enterobiotix
Dr Lynsey Howard has over 10 years of experience in the strategy, design and implementation of innovative biopharmaceutical Research along with team leadership, business development and senior management.
Lynsey originally completed her BSc (hons) in Virology from the University of Glasgow, where she subsequently completed a PhD in novel stem cell and gene therapies for cardiovascular disease within the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences. Following this, Lynsey took up a Post-Doctoral Researcher position at the University of Bristol working in the Bristol Heart Institute.
Prior to joining EnteroBiotix, Lynsey was Head of Preclinical Research and Development at Lamellar Biomedical where she created extensive internal and external scientific capability in polymicrobial infection biology, antimicrobial development, respiratory disease, gene therapy, and immunology. Lynsey directed several collaborations with world-leading institutes and commercial partners, as well as led an in-house team of multidisciplinary scientists. Lynsey’s work generated valuable intellectual property leading to multiple patent submissions.
At EnteroBiotix, Lynsey heads up the Research team and also performs the role of Biosafety Officer, ensuring the innovative testing and characterisation strategies for all products are best-in-class to create safe and effective medicines for those patients who are living with microbiome-mediated health conditions.
- Irina Spacova | Postdoctoral Researcher | University of Antwerp
Irina Spacova | Postdoctoral Researcher | University of Antwerp
Dr. Irina Spacova is a senior researcher at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Moldova State University and her Master’s degree in Bioscience Engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium. Her subsequent PhD dissertation at KU Leuven and the University of Antwerp unraveled the mechanisms through which probiotic lactic acid bacteria prevent asthmatic inflammation. Part of her postdoctoral research work on antimicrobial and immunostimulatory activity of lactic acid bacteria was conducted at the University of Manchester (UK), Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Washington (USA).
Currently, Dr. Irina Spacova investigates how bacteria within the airway and environmental microbial communities modulate common urban respiratory diseases, both experimentally and in clinical trials. Her ongoing research projects funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and the University of Antwerp focus on direct interactions of beneficial microbiota members with respiratory viruses, as well as microbial immunomodulation at mucosal surfaces. She has received several awards for her research, including the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) Early Career Researcher prize in 2021.