Toronto | May 7, 2019

Idea Exchange: The Mighty Microbiome

Date: May 7, 2019

Time: 6 – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Malaparte, 350 King St. W. (see map)

Cost: It’s on us!

The human body is home to trillions of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi — but that’s a good thing!

These microbes make up the microbiome, which plays a crucial role in maintaining good health from the very moment we’re born and throughout our life.

But our modern fixation to rid ourselves of these microbes — from increased use of antibiotics and altered diets and food production, to increased use of antibacterial products — is now believed to be a major underlying cause of skyrocketing immune and chronic diseases, such as allergies, asthma, cancer and more. 

University of Calgary Chancellor Deborah Yedlin invites all alumni, donors and friends to join us at our Idea Exchange Tour stop in Toronto to discover the many ways that UCalgary researchers are working to not only address these challenges, but explore ways to harness the power of the microbiome to treat diseases.

She’ll be joined by Dr. Kathy McCoy, PhD, professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology and scientific director of UCalgary’s International Microbiome Centre, and Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD, assistant professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Physiology & Pharmacology.

You’ll learn more about how the microbiome affects the health of your family, the many exciting advancements being made in using the microbiome to treat diseases, and get an insider’s perspective of the International Microbiome Centre — which is home to the largest academic germ-free facility in Canada.

Meet the Speakers

Dr. Kathy McCoy, PhD

Dr. Kathy McCoy, PhD

Dr. Kathy McCoy is a professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, a member of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, and is the scientific director of the International Microbiome Centre at the University of Calgary. She is interested the dynamic interplay between gut microbiota and the innate and adaptive immune systems. Her research aims to understand how exposure to intestinal microbes, particularly during early life, educates and regulates the immune system and how this can affect susceptibility to diseases such as allergy, autoimmunity and autism. Her lab also investigates how the microbiome regulates the immune system throughout life, with the aim to identify microbial therapies that can be employed to enhance current therapeutic approaches.

Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD

Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD

Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta is an assistant professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Physiology & Pharmacology at the University of Calgary. Her research examines the interactions between the early life gut microbiome and the infant’s immune system. Her research program is framed around a translational approach, in which samples collected from children undergoing clinical care or enrolled in birth cohort studies are used to characterize the microbial alterations (dysbiosis) associated with asthma and asthma risk. As an advocate of science communication to the public, Arrieta has co-written a best-selling book, Let Them Eat Dirt: How Microbes Can Make Your Child Healthier, and is involved in several science-communication initiatives within Canada and abroad, including public talks, and she is working on a second book and a documentary film project.