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NCCIH Research Blog

Join Us April 26 and 27 for “Precision Probiotic Therapies—Challenges and Opportunities”

April 19, 2022


Hye-Sook Kim, Ph.D.

Program Director

Basic and Mechanistic Research in Complementary and Integrative Health Branch

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

View biographical sketch

I hope you can join us on April 26 and 27 for the 2-day virtual workshop “Precision Probiotic Therapies—Challenges and Opportunities,” cosponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS).

Probiotics may have a wide variety of health benefits, but assessment of their effects has been hampered by inconsistent results of clinical trials. At least some of this inconsistency is due to differences in the ways in which individuals respond to a probiotic intervention. Outcomes may differ depending on age, diet, lifestyle, gut microbiota, and other person-specific factors.

Meeting the challenge of individual differences in response to probiotics may require a precision medicine approach, with the goal of developing individualized microbial therapies for a variety of diseases. The widespread interest in this topic within the biomedical research community is reflected in the composition of the planning committee for this workshop, which includes members from 11 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes, Centers, and Offices and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

For their contributions to putting together an outstanding workshop program, I would like to thank my planning committee cochairs Dr. Barbara Sorkin and Dr. Joseph Betz from ODS and all of our colleagues on the planning committee from NIH’s National Cancer Institute, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute on Aging, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and Office of Nutrition Research and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.  

Day 1 – What Are the Challenges?

The first day of the workshop will focus on the current challenges in probiotic research. After opening remarks by Dr. Helene M. Langevin, director of NCCIH, keynote speaker Dr. Jeffrey Gordon of Washington University in St. Louis will examine the opportunities and challenges of research in microbial therapeutics through the lens of studies on microbiome-directed complementary foods for treating childhood undernutrition. Workshop speakers will then look at current challenges in clinical trials (Session One) and host-microbiome interactions in precision probiotic research (Session Two).

Day 2 – Next Steps

The next steps in precision probiotics will be the focus of the second day of the workshop. Dr. Joseph Betz, acting director of ODS, will give the opening remarks, followed by a keynote presentation by Dr. Gary Wu of the University of Pennsylvania on the gut microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease as a prototype for the opportunities and challenges in the development of precision probiotics. The Session Three speakers will discuss new strain identification and development for next-generation probiotics, and the Session Four speakers will address emerging technologies for precision probiotics.

Register Now!

This event is free and open to all, but you must register in advance using Eventbrite. Registered attendees will receive links where they can view both days of the workshop.

Precision Probiotic Therapies—Challenges and Opportunities
April 26 and 27, 2022
10 a.m. to 5:35 p.m. ET on April 26; 10 a.m. to 5:10 p.m. ET on April 27
View the agenda and register

Tags: Meetings


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