A few nights ago, I had the pleasure of attending my first BioForward networking and lecture event. Sponsored by and hosted at Quarles & Brady in downtown Milwaukee, the event focused around the topic of the microbiome, a field that has been gaining more and more attention over the past few years.

The folks at BioForward assembled a great set of speakers for the event, including Steven Visuri and Karen Harrington from start-up FloraSeq, microbiome research pioneer Nita Salzman from the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Research Institute, and Senior Scientist Sandra McLellan from the UW-Milwaukee School of Fresh Water Sciences.

For those that do not know, the “microbiome” refers to the collection of genes of all of the microbes in a particular community. For our purposes, we are referring to the human “microbiome”.

Here’s a fact that can be surprising to a lot of people: the number of microbes that inhabit our bodies outnumber our own human cells by a factor of about 10 to 1. And when you look at the collection of genes carried by this microbiota, the genes in the microbiome outnumber the genes in our own genome by about 100 to 1.

Whether we want to admit it or not, humans could not exist without the help of the microbiota that inhabits our body. Each person that walks this earth plays host to a complex ecology; if that ecology isn’t in balance, the host’s health and well-being can suffer. It’s only in the past ten years have we really started to grasp the true importance of the microbiome and its impact on human health and development.

The four speakers at the BioForward event each shared their expertise on the subject, bring the audience up-to-speed on microbiome research and innovation happening right here in Milwaukee. Overall, the talk was smart, informative, and totally engaging.

Food and beverages were provided to facilitate networking before and after the event. The audience was a diverse cross-section of the area’s biomedical/biohealth field professionals and students. Overall, the event was a great success! I look forward to attending future BioForward events.

Update 7/15: BioForward just released their agenda to their forthcoming 2016 BioHealth Summit on September 27th in Madison. Be sure to check it out! True Process will definitely be there.


Read the full article on True Process’s website: http://www.trueprocess.com/recap-bioforwards-recent-microbiome-event/