GELIFES Seminars - John Cryan
|When:||Th 07-12-2017 16:00 - 17:00|
John Cryan (University College Cork)
A gut (microbiome) feeling about the brain
The brain-gut-microbiota axis is emerging as a research area of increasing interest for those investigating the biological and physiological basis of neurodevelopmental, age-related and neurodegenerative disorders. The routes of communication between the gut and brain include the vagus nerve, the immune system, tryptophan metabolism, via the enteric nervous system or by way of microbial metabolites such as short chain fatty acids. These mechanisms also impinge on neuroendocrine function at multiple levels. Studies in animal models have been key in delineating that neurodevelopment and the programming of an appropriate stress response is dependent on the microbiota. Developmentally, a variety of factors can impact the microbiota in early life including mode of birth delivery, antibiotic exposure, mode of nutritional provision, infection, stress as well as host genetics. At the other extreme of life, individuals who age with considerable ill health tend to show narrowing in microbial diversity. Stress can significantly impact the microbiota-gut-brain axis at all stages across the lifespan. Recently, the gut microbiota has been implicated in a variety of conditions including obesity, autism, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, animal models have been key in linking the regulation of fundamental brain processes ranging from adult hippocampal neurogenesis to myelination to microglia activation by the microbiome. Finally, studies examining the translation of these effects from animals to humans are currently ongoing. Further studies will focus on understanding the mechanisms underlying such brain effects and developing nutritional and microbial-based intervention strategies.
John F. Cryan is Professor & Chair, Dept. of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork, Ireland and is also a Principal Investigator at the APC Microbiome Institute. Prof. Cryan's current research is focused on understanding the interaction between brain, gut & microbiome and how it applies to stress, psychiatric and immune-related disorders at key time-windows across the lifespan. Prof. Cryan has published over 400 articles and is co-author of “The Psychobiotic Revolution: Mood, Food, and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection” from National Geographic Press. He has received numerous awards including UCC Researcher of the Year in 2012; UCC Research Communicator of the Year 2017, the University of Utrecht Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Research in 2013 and being named on the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher list in 2014 and Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher list in2017. He was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2017. In that year he also received a Research Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterology Association and the Tom Connor Distinguished Scientist Award from Neuroscience Ireland. He was a TEDMED speaker in 2014 and is currently President of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society.