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Conference Program
 
Microbial Population Biology
July 17-22, 2011
Proctor Academy
Andover, NH
Chair:
James J. Bull

Vice Chair:
Paul Turner

This biennial conference draws scientists from diverse fields and promotes interactions that are highly interdisciplinary. The ensuing intellectual cross-fertilization has had and continues to have a major impact on the fields of evolution and ecology. The Microbial Population Biology GRC is a major forum for the introduction and discussion of major concepts in pathogen evolution, drug resistance, microbial communities, and Darwinian Medicine.

One major emphasis of the 2011 meeting is the evolution and dynamics of infectious disease. Recent years have seen the emergence of HIV, SARS, West Nile (in the U.S.), MRSA, and a new H1N1 pandemic a year ago. While the treatment and mechanistic study of diseases typically falls within the domains of clinicians and microbiologists, the emergence of new infectious diseases is primarily a problem in evolution and ecology. Molecular biology might tell us which mutations adapt a bird flu virus to human-human transmission, but it is evolutionary biology that asks about the fate of those mutations once arisen, and epidemiology tells us if a virus is dynamically able to spread. Evolutionary and population biology are equally critical in understanding how to control diseases once they have ‘emerged.’

A second focus is our microbiome, the collective multitude of microbes living on us. Deceptively, this new topic may seem disconnected from infectious disease, but it may prove to be relevant to infectious disease and much more. Although basic work is now being done to identify what constitutes our microbiome, how it differs among us, and how it changes, population biology (including ecology) will provide the foundation for understanding the processes governing microbiome composition and how it might be manipulated to our benefit, such as the effects various probiotic and prebiotic species have on our health and our susceptibility to infectious agents.

A third focus this year will be the ecology of algae used for biofuels. To date, the promises of algae for fuel have come from engineers working in the lab, but scaling up production to millions of acre-feet of water outdoors will require that we understand how to control and manipulate community dynamics.

The 2011 meeting has a strong emphasis on practical applications and relevant organisms. The list includes talks on probiotics from researchers in the dairy industry, talks from the algal industry, phage therapy, polio eradication, fitness landscapes of HIV drug resistance, and a novel attempt (in progress) to eradicate dengue with the bacterium Wolbacchia.


Contributors

SUNDAY
2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in (Office Closed 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmMolecular signatures of adaptation
Discussion Leader: Wally Buchholz (Army Research Office)
7:40 pm - 8:00 pm Wally Buchholz (ARO)
"Microbial Adaptation and the Inverse Problem"
8:00 pm - 8:05 pm Discussion
8:05 pm - 8:35 pm Yousif Shamoo (Rice)
"Experimental adaptation and biophysics: building the links between molecules and fitness"
8:35 pm - 8:47 pm Discussion
8:47 pm - 9:20 pm Rich Lenski (Michigan State)
"Dynamics of genotypic and phenotypic evolution during a 50,000 generation experiment with E. coli"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
MONDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmBacterial communication and collective behavior
Discussion Leader: Marvin Whiteley (Texas)
9:00 am - 9:35 am Marvin Whiteley (Texas)
"Microbial Facebook: novel technologies for probing bacterial social networks"
9:35 am - 9:45 am Discussion
9:45 am - 10:20 am Carrie Harwood (U. Washington)
"Bacteria for biohydrogen: how can we leverage strain diversity?"
10:20 am - 10:30 am Discussion
10:30 am Group Photo / Coffee Break
11:00 am - 11:35 am Karine Gibbs (Harvard)
"Social recognition in bacteria"
11:35 am - 11:45 am Discussion
11:45 am - 12:20 pm Steve Diggle (Nottingham)
"Common interest and the reliability of quorum sensing"
12:10 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session I
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmManipulating and maintaining bacterial communities
Discussion Leader: Harald Bruessow (Nestle)
7:30 pm - 8:00 pm Harald Bruessow (Nestle)
"Identification of genes associated with probiotic properties of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pm Discussion
8:10 pm - 8:40 pm Sylvain Moineau (Laval)
"The bacterial immune system CRISPR/Cas cleaves foreign DNA"
8:40 pm - 8:50 pm Discussion
8:50 pm - 9:20 pm Artur Ouwehand (Danisco)
"Probiotics vs. antibiotics: managing a disturbed microbiota"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
TUESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmBacterial Defense and Defensive Bacteria
Discussion Leader: Howard Ochman (Yale)
9:00 am - 9:15 am Introduction
9:15 am - 9:50 am Kelli Palmer (Harvard)
"Selfish elements and self-defense in the enterococci"
9:50 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am - 10:35 am Andy Goodman (Yale)
"Cooperation and competition in the human gut microbiota"
10:35 am - 10:45 am Discussion
10:45 am Coffee Break
11:15 am - 11:50 am Kerry Oliver (Georgia)
"Protective symbionts in aphids"
11:50 am - 12:00 pm Discussion
12:00 pm - 12:12 pm Kristina Hillesland (University of Washington)
"The genomics of adaptation at the origin of mutualism"
12:12 pm - 12:15 pmDiscussion
12:15 pm - 12:27 pm Will Ratcliff (University of Minnesota)
"Experimental evolution of multicellularity"
12:27 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session I
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmEcology of large scale microalgal cultures
Discussion Leader: Jamie Bacher (Sapphire Energy)
7:30 pm - 7:50 pm Introduction: The algal biofuels industry
7:50 pm - 8:15 pm Rob McBride (Sapphire)
"Biotic challenges of outdoor algal cultivation"
8:15 pm - 8:40 pm Jerry Brand (Texas)
"Characterizing, archiving, and certifying microalgae for large scale culturing and commercial exploitation"
8:40 pm - 9:05 pm Milt Sommerfeld (with T. Dempster)
"Selection, evaluation, and deployment of native algae for oil production"
9:05 pm - 9:30 pm Panel Discussion with all four speakers
WEDNESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmInteraction of the microbiome with host immunity
Discussion Leader: Larry Forney (Idaho)
9:00 am - 9:35 am Larry Forney (Idaho)
"Dynamics of the vaginal microbiome"
9:35 am - 9:45 am Discussion
9:45 am - 10:20 am Sebastian Winter (UC Davis)
"Food from the fire: how the host response feeds Salmonella"
10:20 am - 10:30 am Discussion
10:30 am Coffee Break
11:00 am - 11:35 am Ruth Ley (Cornell)
"Host-microbial interactions underlying metabolic syndrom"
11:35 am - 11:45 am Discussion
11:45 am - 12:20 pm Sarkis Mazmanian (CalTech)
"Unlocking evolutionary mysteries of co-evolution between the microbiota and immune system"
12:10 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session II
6:00 pmDinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting (run by Paul Turner)
Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmGenomes, networks and adaptation
Discussion Leader: Ichiro Matsumura (Emory)
7:30 pm - 8:00 pm Ichiro Matsumura (Emory)
"Structure and adaptive evolution of metabolic networks"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pm Discussion
8:10 pm - 8:40 pm Nancy Moran (Yale)
"Let's get small: The path to the tiniest of all cellular genomes"
8:40 pm - 8:50 pm Discussion
8:50 pm - 9:20 pm Sally Otto (U British Columbia)
"Nature of adaptive mutations across environments and genetic backgrounds in yeast"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
THURSDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmViruses
Discussion Leader: Santi Elena (CSIC Spain)
9:00 am - 9:25 am Santi Elena (CSIC)
"Evolution of virus-host interactions"
9:25 am - 9:35 am Discussion
9:35 am - 10:05 am Holly Wichman (Idaho)
"Molecular dissection of adaptive evolution"
10:05 am - 10:15 am Discussion
10:15 am Coffee Break
10:30 am - 11:00 am Sebastian Bonhoeffer (ETH, Zurich)
"High dimensional fitness landscapes of HIV drug resistance"
11:00 am - 11:10 am Discussion
11:10 am - 11:40 am Tony Goldberg (Wisconsin)
"Evolutionary ecology of emerging pathogens in Chicago and Uganda"
11:40 am - 11:50 am Discussion
11:50 am - 12:20 pm Olen Kew (CDC)
"Global polio eradication"
12:20 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session II
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmApplications of theory to pathogens
Discussion Leader: Bruce Levin (Emory)
7:30 pm - 8:00 pm Bruce Levin (Emory)
"Within-host population and evolutionary dynamics of antibiotic treatment"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pm Discussion
8:10 pm - 8:40 pm Sunetra Gupta (Oxforrd U)
"role of immune selection on pathogen population structure"
8:40 pm - 8:50 pm Discussion
8:50 pm - 9:20 pm Michael Turelli (UC Davis)
"Population dynamics and evolution of Wolbachia infections causing cytoplasmic incompatbility: data, theory, and an application to control dengue"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
FRIDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

 
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