Microbiome Innovation & Investment Summit

Thank you — we loved seeing you at the Microbiome Innovation and Investment Summit on September 19, 2018. Held at JAX Genomic Medicine on the UCONN Health campus in Farmington, CT, this conference brought together more than 100 people from over 60 different organizations interested in microbiome research, scientific collaborations, and new company formation in this arena.

Our goals were to provide an expert overview and stimulating discussion of:
–              the current landscape in microbiome research and development
–              investment opportunities and challenges unique to this field
–              successful partnership and co-development models
–              future directions in microbiome commercialization

Here are the conference video proceedings:

Welcome Messages
Mark Adams, PhD — JAX Professor & Director, Microbial Genomics Services
Charles Lee, PhD — Scientific Director, JAX Genomic Medicine
& Professor, The Jackson Laboratory

Opening Remarks from Connecticut Innovations
Matt McCooe — CEO, CT Innovations

Introduction to the Connecticut Microbiome Initiative
Mark Adams, PhD
Mostafa Analoui, PhD — Executive Director, UCONN Venture Development

Preview:  Microbiome 2018
BJ Bormann, PhD — Vice President, Scientific Translation & Alliances

SCIENCE SESSION #1
Mining the Therapeutic Treasure Trove of the Gut Microbiota
Julia Oh, PhD — Assistant Professor, The Jackson Laboratory
Naama Geva-Zatorsky, PhD — Principal Investigator, Technion Integrated Cancer Center

Functional Profiling of the Gut Microbiota
Noah Palm, PhD — Assistant Professor, Yale University School of Medicine &
co-founder Artizan Biosciences

PANEL 1: THE PRODUCT LANDSCAPE
Mark Adams, PhD
Ken Blount, PhD — Chief Scientific Officer, Rebiotix
Andre Marozsan, PhD — Vice President, Artizan Biosciences
Travis Whitfill, MPH — co-founder & CEO, Azitra
Dario Gutierrez, PhD — Head of Investigational Biology, Merck Exploratory Science Center

MORNING KEYNOTE: TRANSLATING THE MICROBIOME TO NEW THERAPEUTIC PRODUCTS
Introduction
Jon Soderstrom, PhD — Managing Director, Office of Cooperative Research, Yale University

Keynote Address
Shelley Trucksis, MD, PhD — Chief Medical Officer & Executive Vice President, Seres Health

SCIENCE SESSION #2:
Introduction
Joerg Graf, PhD — Professor, University of Connecticut

Tracking Microbial Metabolites
Amina Bouslimani, PhD — Assistant Project Scientist, UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy

Defining the secondary metabolite function in a model insect microbiome
Jonathan Klassen, Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut

PANEL #2: INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
Moderator:  Mostafa Analoui, University of Connecticut

Panelists:
Dan Wagner, Senior Managing Director, Investments, CT Innovations
Tim Shannon, General Partner, East Coast, Canaan Partners
John Hambor, PhD, Director, Research Beyond Borders, Boehringer Ingelheim
Mark FitzGerald, PhD, Patent Attorney, Nixon Peabody

TRANSLATION IN ACTION
A Case Study of Research/Commercial Collaboration
Julia Oh, The Jackson Laboratory
Travis Whitfill, Azitra, Inc.

PANEL #3: WHY CONNECTICUT?
Moderator:  Dan Wagner, CT Innovations

Panelists:
Andre Marozsan, Artizan Biosciences
Travis Whitfill, Azitra Inc.
John Kallassy, Chief Executive & Financial Officer, Bactana Corporation
Thomas Jarvie, co-founder, Shoreline Biome
Catherine Smith, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development

[Please note: at the speaker’s request, the afternoon keynote, “Microbiome and functional food/drink,” was not recorded.]

The Summit was organized as part of a new initiative to link microbiome research strengths at Yale, UConn, and JAX with business development activities in the state of Connecticut. The Connecticut Microbiome Initiative promotes investment and collaboration to facilitate development of microbiome-related products in biomedicine and other fields.