Redefining Human: How Microbes Influence Who We Are

Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 7:00pm
The City Library - 210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah

Nature of Things Lecture

June Round

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Location: The City Library, 210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City 

Free event -- tickets are not required

Humans are home to vast consortium of bacteria that outnumber our own cells by a factor of ten.  Recent research shows that the microorganisms living on and in our bodies are essential to immune system development and protecting us from a vast array of diseases.  Moreover, these bacteria have likely influenced the evolution of the human species in unexplored and unappreciated ways. Given the importance of bacteria to our health and development, we might begin to redefine ourselves to include the microscopic creatures that inhabit our bodies.

Join Dr. June Round for a discussion of who these organisms are and where they live on your body, what developmental and disease processes they influence, and how scientists are trying to utilize these organisms to treat various ailments. Dr. Round is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology, Division of Microbiology and Immunology, at the University of Utah.  Her lab studies how symbiotic bacteria shape the development and responses of the mammalian immune system. Using germ-free mice raised in a completely sterile environment, she is examining the mechanisms by which a single microorganism prominent in the human microbiome communicates with its host and protects it from disease.  Her work on this communication pathway was published in Science in May 2011.

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Nature of Things Founding Underwriter:  R. Harold Burton Foundation

Presenting Partner:  JPMorgan Chase

Gold Sponsor: Rio Tinto | Kennecott Utah Copper

Silver Sponsor: the Clark Foundation

Bronze Sponsor: Myriad Genetics

Media Partner: KCPW -- All lectures broadcast live at KCPW 88.3FM

In-Kind Sponsors: Liberty Heights Fresh, Pinon Market & Cafe

Additional support from Kingsbury Hall, The City Library and the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks Fund