On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, the Scientific Liaison Coalition (SLC), of which the Teratology Society is a member, hosted a live webinar, “Gatekeeper and Watchman: The Microbiome Enters the Picture" presented by Ellen Silbergeld, PhD. Teratology Society President Mary Alice Smith served as the moderator for this webinar.
Description: The microbiome, defined most inclusively as a biologically and spatially defined microbial community along with its ecological support system, is newly recognized as an important factor in human development and health status over the lifetime and transgenerationally. For toxicology and epidemiology, we need to reconsider our current modes of thinking about how humans encounter the external environment and to expand our current models for understanding associations between external exposures and health status. Site-specific microbiomes occupy the front line of exposure at portals of entry prior to absorption by inhalation, ingestion or dermal contact. In this “gatekeeper” role, the microbiome within its metagenome (the combined genetic resources of the microbial community) is involved in metabolism of metals and complex chemicals. In addition, in its “watchman” role, the microbiome participates in the overall response of the human organism by signal transduction across the portal of entry to target organs and systems. Exposure-induced changes in the microbiome will affect these signals as well as the internalized exposure transferred across physiological barriers into the host organism.
Since the human microbiome contains ~100 times as many as the human host, it must be considered in the design and interpretation of epidemiology and toxicology studies. Implications for research will be discussed, with examples.
Presented by: Ellen Silbergeld, PhD, Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland. Her research and professional activities bridge science and policy, with a focus on the incorporation of mechanistic toxicology into environmental and occupational health policy. Dr. Silbergeld also directs a Fogarty Training Program in NonCommunicable Diseases, which is collaboration between Hopkins and the School of Public Health of Mongolia.
The Scientific Liaison Coalition includes the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (AACT), American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT), American College of Toxicology (ACT), The Endocrine Society (ENDO), Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS), International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX), Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS), Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Society of Toxicologic Pathology (STP), Society of Toxicology (SOT), and Teratology Society (Teratology). For additional information about the SLC, please contact Marcia Lawson and visit the SLC website.
Learn more about the Teratology Society's Webinar Program!