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Corinne Benakis, PhD, Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research, Klinikum der Universität München, Munich, Germany
Corinne Benakis is originally from Switzerland where she studied biochemistry before obtaining a PhD from the Lemanic Neuroscience program at the University of Lausanne under the mentorship of Prof. Lorenz Hirt.

Dr. Benakis reports about: "Gut-microbiome and the influence on stroke recovery via the immune system: facts and outlook for clinical relevance and research"

Her PhD thesis focuses on the anti-inflammatory properties of a neuroprotective compound in cerebral ischemia, notably on the role of microglia. She then joined the laboratory of Prof. Costantino Iadecola at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York as a postdoctoral researcher with a fellowship from the Swiss National Research Foundation, where she investigated the interaction of the gut microbiota with the intestinal immune cells in stroke.
These novel findings–linking the brain neuroinflammation and the gut microbiota–were published in Nature Medicine in 2016. She then joined the laboratory of Dr. Arthur Liesz in Munich, Germany, at the Institute of Stroke and Dementia, with a Marie Curie grant from the European Commission to develop her own research topic on the specific role of gut metabolites on immune cell polarization in the context of brain injury.


Jörg Blech is the Berlin-based science correspondent for Der Spiegel, Germany largest weekly news magazine. He studied molecular biology and biochemistry at the University of Cologne and at the University of Sussex. His best-selling books have together been published in a dozen languages. In 2000, Jörg Blech published the first book on the human microbiome and the other creatures that live in our body. The book was updated in many printings and became a classic. Ever since Jörg Blech reports on microbiome research and its implication for our microbial self.

J. Blech speaks about: The Microbiome Story for Advancing Health: Perspectives on Roots and Realization

Blech is book author of the microbiome literature high seller: "Leben auf dem Menschen" (Living on man). 

See also his blog on this website:


Bonnie Feldman, DDS, MBA, (DrBonnie360) is the founder of Your Autoimmunity Connection. Bonnie and her team consult with companies and entrepreneurs developing new products and services to improve all aspects of chronic care. As a thought leader and champion for the 50+ million with autoimmune diseases, she uses her quadruple lens - of a healthcare provider, researcher, scientist and patient - to create a digitally connected world of personalized care for autoimmune patients.

Bonnie speaks about: "The Oral Microbiome - Discovering Pathways to Systemic Disease and Emerging Business Opportunities"

In the past two years alone, Bonnie has been an invited speaker at conferences including TEDx and SXSW, interviewed 250+ start-up companies, and attended 70+ digital health meetings. Bonnie’s mission is to reshape research, diagnosis, and treatment of all autoimmune diseases, as well as empower patients with the tools, coaching, and community to achieve their healthiest self. She welcomes collaborative partners in these initiatives at People interested in her oral microbiome e-book are welcomed to get in touch with her.


Gregory A. Buck, Ph.D., is Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Computer Science and Director of the Center for Microbiome Engineering and Data Analysis at Virginia Commonwealth University.

His presentation: "The Impact of the Vaginome on Health Management of the Reproductive Tract, Pregnancy, Newborns and Interactions with Other Human Microbiomes: Opportunities for New Hygiene and Clinical Support Products"

He obtained a BS in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his MS and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Washington-Seattle studying the toxinogenic bacteriophages of Corynebacterium diphtheria. He did postdoctoral research at the Institut Pasteur in Paris studying the genetics of antigenic variation in African Trypanosomes, and subsequently joined the faculty in the department of Microbiology and Immunology at VCU. He founded VCU’s Nucleic Acids Research Facilities which maintains VCU’s Next Generation Sequencing infrastructure, and Center for High Performance Computing which provides research computing capacity to VCU’s investigators. He founded the Center for Microbiome Engineering and Data Analysis at VCU in 2018. Dr. Buck’s recent work has focused on high throughput microbial genomics and metagenomics, with a focus on evaluating the impact of the vaginal microbiome on women’s health and pregnancy.


University of Louisville School of Medicine

Robert Paul Friedland (BS, City College of New York 1969; MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, 1973) completed a fellowship in brain aging and dementia at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and worked as Chief Neurologist at the Donner Laboratory, University of California Berkeley. At the National Institute on Aging, NIH he served as Deputy Clinical Director and Chief of the Brain Aging and Dementia Section. 

Prof. Friedland speaks about: "The role of the microbiota in brain aging and the potential for gene therapy" 

Dr Friedland moved to Cleveland in 1990 to be Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In 2008 he came to the University of Louisville and became Chairman and Professor of Neurology & Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, and the Rudd Chair. He also served as Interim Chair of the Dept. of Neurosurgery and is currently Chief of the Laboratory of Neurogeriatrics at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Friedland’s work has focused on multidisciplinary approaches to neurodegenerative diseases in an effort to: 1) uncover the environmental factors responsible for their development; and 2) develop effective preventive and therapeutic measures. His work has involved studies in the Middle East, Africa and Japan, as well as the USA. Dr. Friedland has authored or coauthored over 220 scientific publications in refereed journals, and his work has been cited over 12,000 times. His current approach to the mechanisms of initiation of neurodegeneration developed from a longstanding interest in the biology of brain aging. Recent research from his lab is focused on human subjects as well as animal models of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (Pick’s disease). His collaborators include faculty at the University of Louisville in the Departments of Neurology, Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, Biochemistry, Oral Immunology, Physiology, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Cancer Center. Research is also underway with colleagues in Ireland, The United Kingdom and Japan. In 2017 he was appointed Visiting Professor at the Shiga University of Medical Sciences in Otsu, Japan. Dr. Friedland sees patients with a focus on cognitive, behavioral, and geriatric neurology.


Dr Sofia Forslund trained as a molecular biotechnologist in Uppsala, then aquired a PhD in computational biology in Stockholm. After post-doc at the EMBL she founded the Host-microbiome systems medicine of cardiometabolic disease group at the ECRC (MDC/Charité) in Berlin



Dr. Forslund speaks about: "The gut microbiome in disease progression and treatment"

Sofia focuses on 1) evolutionary and systems bioinformatics tool development, confounder analysis and big data integration, 2) metagenome analyses of pathogenicity of microbiomes including antibiotic resistance, and 3) roles of microbiota in rise, treatment, diagnosis and management of systemic disease or health of the host. Twitter: @forslund_lab, @inanna_nalytica ; website: .


Dr. Jane Foster is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. Dr. Foster is an active researcher in two large translational networks -  the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders Network (POND) and the Canadian Biomarkers in Depression (CAN-BIND).

She will cover the state of the art for: "The Influencing Factors of the Microbiome and Genomics with Outcomes for Psychologic and Psychiatric Conditions" 

 In addition Jane will conduct a workshop where we work on The benefits of academic-industry partnerships in relation with microbiomics - which is mega-important and mega-interesting for both players. 

By combining basic science research with clinical collaboration in psychiatry, psychology, and gastroenterology, the Foster lab has developed a ‘bench to bedside’ and back again approach to studying microbiota-brain and immune-brain systems aimed at understanding how these relationships contribute to psychiatric disorders such as neurodevelopmental disorders, anxiety and depression.


Professor Jack A Gilbert earned his Ph.D. from Unilever and Nottingham University, UK in 2002, and received his postdoctoral training at Queens University, Canada. From 2005-2010 he was a senior scientist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK; and from 2010-2018 he was a Professor of Surgery and Director of The Microbiome Center at University of Chicago. In 2019 he moved to University of California San Diego, where he is a Professor in Pediatrics and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


He will cover an overall important topic in microbiomics: "The individual and inter-individual microbiome transfer routes and their impact for treatments, recovery and prevention"

He is also Group Leader for Microbial Ecology at Argonne National Laboratory, and the Yeoh Ghim Seng Visiting Professorship in Surgery at the National University of Singapore. Dr. Gilbert uses molecular analysis to test fundamental hypotheses in microbial ecology. He cofounded the Earth Microbiome Project and American Gut Project. He has authored more than 250 peer reviewed publications and book chapters on microbial ecology. He is the founding Editor in Chief of mSystems journal. In 2014 he was recognized on Crain’s Business Chicago’s 40 Under 40 List, and in 2015 he was listed as one of the 50 most influential scientists by Business Insider, and in the Brilliant Ten by Popular Scientist. In 2016 he won the Altemeier Prize from the Surgical Infection Society, and the WH Pierce Prize from the Society for Applied Microbiology for research excellence. He also co-authored “Dirt is Good” published in 2017, a popular science guide to the microbiome and children’s health.


Dr. Isaksen earned his doctorate in Biotechnology from the University of Oslo in 1993. As part of his doctorate, he was visiting scholar at UC Berkeley from 1990 – 1991, and at The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany in the fall of 1991.
Dr. Isaksen will present about: "Precision microbiome-adjusted nutrition for personalized medicine: state of the art and procedures."

He has since had extensive experience with commercial biotech; established and run several biotech companies in Norway and the UK, and has acted as consultant for many others. Most recently, he set up and was the CEO of the gut microbiome company Genetic Analysis from 2008 to 2013. He is the Founder and CEO of Bio-Me, which was established in 2016. 


Dr. Jianan Li  is an international associate of the National Academy of Medicine, USA. He is professor and Dean of the College of Rehabilitation Medicine in Nanjing Medical University, as well as Chairman of Medical Rehabilitation Center of its First Affiliated Hospital, and president of the Zhongshan Rehabilitation Hospital, China. 

Prof. Li Jianan will speak about: "The role and importance of genetics and microbiomics in future sub-health management" 

He is the immediate past-president of International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM) and the International Member of National Academy of Medicine, USA. His main field is in Spinal cord injury rehabilitation, Cardiac rehabilitation and Motion analysis and motor control.


Prof. Dr. Eckhard Schoenau is medical director of the UniReha GmbH and consultant at the Children’s Hospital University of Cologne, Germany responsible for the management of the polyclinic for general pediatrics since 1991.

His contribution is about: "The Role of the Microbiome for the Treatment of Rare Neurodegenerative Children Diseases." 


He graduated from medical school in Erlangen, Germany in 1986 followed by specialist training for pediatric and adolescent medicine at the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Luebeck, Germany.
In 1999 he was appointed Professor at the University of Cologne. On the basis of extensive research in the area of musculoskeletal diseases, Prof. Schoenau established the Rehabilitation Center "Queen Rania Rehabilitation Center" for children and adolescents with reduced mobility "Auf die Beine" at the University Hospital Cologne, Germany in 2006 and is medical director since then.
The management of the Center for Prevention and Rehabilitation, UniReha GmbH (100% subsidiary of the University Hospital of Cologne) followed in 2008. He has presented her research nationally and internationally (161 original papers, 57 reviews, 51 book chapters).


Taylor C. Wallace, PhD, CFS, FACN, is Principal and CEO at the Think Healthy Group and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University. Prior to founding the Think Healthy Group, Dr. Wallace served as the Senior Director of Science Policy and Government Relations at the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and the Senior Director of Scientific 


He speaks about: "Microbiome-adjusted nutrition for healthy ageing"

Programs at the National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA), a public-private partnership, managed and operated by the NOF. He has extensive experience in developing and implementing comprehensive and evidence-based legislative, policy, and regulatory programs in the fields of nutrition and food science. His academic research interests are in the area of nutritional interventions to promote health and prevent the onset of chronic disease. Dr. Wallace’s background includes a PhD and an MS in Food Science and Nutrition from The Ohio State University and a BS in Food Science and Technology from the University of Kentucky.  In his free time, Dr. Wallace manages and operates a large food and nutrition blog,, where he provides science-based nutrition, food safety, and food technology information to the general public and consumer media. Dr. Wallace has served on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of Food Technologists, Alliance for Food and Health, Feeding Tomorrow, and Phi Tau Sigma.  He is a fellow of the American College of Nutrition and is the 2015 recipient of the Charles A. Regus Award, given by the American College of Nutrition for original research and innovation in the field of nutrition.  Dr. Wallace is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Magnesium Education & Research, the Deputy Editor in Chief of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Editor in Chief of the Journal of Dietary Supplements, the editor of six academic textbooks, and an author of over 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters.  See why The Huffington Post called Dr. Taylor Wallace “the nation’s premier food and nutrition guru”.