Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Montana State University
Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015
Time: 4:10 PM
Place: Procrastinator Theater, Strand Union Building
Title: Your Body of Bugs: Some Good, Some Bad and
Revolutionizing Attributes of the Human Microbiome
Our bodies are composed of 10 times more microbial cells than human cells, but we are only beginning to understand how these microscopic partners influence our health and disease. Research in Seth Walk’s MSU lab is part basic discovery and part clinical as they investigate how human interactions with microorganisms both help and hurt us. Walk will discuss ongoing projects and, in doing so, inform the listener about some of the transformative topics in microbiome research with respect to human health.
About the speaker:
Seth Walk joined the MSU faculty in 2012. His MSU lab studies how disease-causing microbes interact with the human gastrointestinal tract. In 2014, Walk received a $100,000, 18-month Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Walk and two collaborators – Blake Wiedenheft at MSU and Jason Spence at the University of Michigan – will develop a new tool to study gastrointestinal tract dysbiosis more effectively. The tool is a 3-D human tissue culture that is more relevant to human disease than mouse models. Dysbiosis refers to an imbalance of microorganisms that causes a variety of health problems, including gastroenteritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Infections caused by certain pathogens and the loss of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to dysbiosis.
Seth Walk was the recipient of a 2014 Kopriva MSU Faculty Lectureship from the College of Letters and Science.