Maayan Levy, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Intestinal Cell Functions in Host-Microbiome Interactions

The intestinal barrier is essential for the homeostasis of any mammalian organism, as it separates the inside of the body from the vast community of microorganisms and dietary molecules that are residing in the gastrointestinal tract. A breakdown or impairment of the intestinal barrier has been associated with numerous diseases, ranging from chronic inflammatory disorders and enteric infections to metabolic derangements and even neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, intestinal permeability has been implicated as a critical determinant in the predisposition to inflammatory bowel disease. However, the factors that regulate the homeostatic function of the intestinal barrier remain poorly understood.

The main structural element of the intestinal barrier is formed by a single layer of intestinal epithelial cells that line the mucosal surface of the gut. This monolayer of specialized cells facilitates digestion and absorption of nutrients, while at the same time acting as a barrier to invading microorganisms, toxins, and dietary antigens. Dysregulation of the epithelial layer can increase intestinal permeability and expose immune cells in the intestinal lamina propria to luminal content, which in turn instigates chronic inflammation and promotes disease. 

The intestinal microbiome synthesizes, modifies and degrades a large repertoire of small molecules, thereby providing a functional complementation to the metabolic capacities of the host. There is increasing evidence that these metabolites, rather than merely complementing host metabolism, in many circumstances serve as signaling molecules that regulate diverse aspects of host biology, including epithelial homeostasis, immune cell development, and neuronal regulation. The overarching goal of my lab is to gain a comprehensive and mechanistic understanding of the repertoire of microbial metabolites that are functionally involved in the regulation of intestinal barrier function and intestinal inflammation.

Reception: 5-6pm
Lecture: 6-7pm

Thomas Jefferson University
Bluemle Life Sciences Building
233 S. 10th Street (10th an Locust), Philadelphia 19104

Discounted parking at the garage on 11th and Locust (entrance on 11th Street under the Hamilton Bldg)

28th Annual Philadelphia Infection & Immunity Forum
Organized by the Eastern PA Branch ASM and Student Chapter ASM

Friday, December 16, 2019

Hall of Flags, Houston Hall
University of Pennsylvania
3417 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

planned schedule:

7:30 – 8:30 am breakfast
8:30 – 11:00 am presentations
11:00 – 1:30 pm poster sessions and lunch
1:30 – 4:00 pm presentations
4:30 pm awards and close

Keynote Speakers
Dr. Amariliz Rivera-Medina
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Dr. Rosemary Rochford
University of Colorado

Dr. Vincent Tam
Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University

Platform presentations from post-doctoral researchers and graduate students
Poster presentations with awards for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers

Abstract submission details and online registration –  look for updates

Important Dates:
Oral presentation abstract deadline: Nov 11, 2019
Poster presentation abstract deadline: December 2, 2019
On time meeting registration deadline: Dec 2, 2019

Registration Fees:
On time – free for students and postdocs
Faculty – $40.00
At the door – Faculty $60.00, Students/Postdocs $25.00

The Eastern Pennsylvania Branch of the American Society for Microbiology will sponsor the 49th Annual Symposium at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. This intermediate to advanced level program will provide an update of the prognostic importance of blood cultures and of the optimization of lab workflow with automated blood culture systems. The program will also review the use of rapid multiplex molecular panels from positive BCs and the use of new non-culture molecular tests directly from whole blood. Specific examples of bloodstream infections and molecular diagnostics will be illustrated in case presentations. Additional topics will include pediatric blood cultures, catheter-associated BSI, and the impact of rapid blood culture tests on antimicrobial stewardship. 

Symposium Program Brochure

Registration is now open: Register for the meeting

Friday, November 22, 2019 on the Thomas Jefferson University campus in Philadelphia. Program Co-Chairs: Alan Evangelista PhD, Matthew Pettengill PhD, Laurel Glaser MD, PhD

Manuela Raffatellu, MD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
University of California San Diego

“Nutritional Immunity in the Inflamed Gut”

In response to infection with enteric pathogens that cause inflammatory diarrhea, such as Salmonella Typhimurium, the host mounts a response termed nutritional immunity, which limits the availability of essential metal ions including iron, zinc, and manganese. This lecture will discuss the host cytokines that regulate nutritional immunity, and will outline the roles of two antimicrobial proteins, lipocalin-2 and calprotectin, in sequestering metal ions during colitis and their effects on gut pathogens and on the gut microbiome. 

5pm, free reception
6pm, seminar

Thomas Jefferson University
Bluemle Life Sciences Building
233 S. 10th Street (10th an Locust), Philadelphia 19104

Discounted parking at the garage on 11th and Locust (entrance on 11th Street under the Hamilton Bldg)