Dan Knights develops computational methods for studying the human microbiome, and his lab at the University of Minnesota runs Microbiome studies in humans to learn more about the connection between lifestyle, diet, the microbiome, and human health. His academic research in computational methods established the use of machine learning on microbiome data; his work on the human microbiome demonstrated that immigration to the US causes rapid Westernization of the human microbiome and that these changes are related to obesity. In 2015, he was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor by the University of Minnesota. In 2016, Dan co-founded CoreBiome, a big-data sequencing and analysis provider that has now generated and analyzed tens of thousands of shotgun metagenomics profiles.
Understanding mechanism of action and translating microbiome science into commercially viable therapeutics remains the biggest challenge in this emerging field. With that said, pharma and biotech across many different therapeutic indications and modalities are united in this global effort to bring novel microbiome-based therapies and diagnostics into the clinical domain. This session will include some of the most impactful and promising areas of the microbiome field: