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Humans & the Microbiome

How do microbes that live in and on us affect our health, development and even behaviour?

Humans & the Microbiome

Overview

Microorganisms cover our skin and fill our guts. These bacteria, viruses and fungi – collectively called the human microbiome – were until recently only considered interesting if they led to disease.

But a growing body of research shows that a properly functioning microbiome has tremendous impact on human health. For instance, the ability to maintain a healthy weight is probably influenced significantly by the microbiota in your gut. A mother’s microbiome could affect the healthy development of her fetus’s brain. And researchers are learning about the effects of colonization on human groups by examining the microbes in dental tartar of human remains in West Africa.

This program brings anthropologists, biologists and other scholars together to provide biocultural context to host-microbiome interactions. They’re asking new questions about what aspects of individual and societal behaviour are critical to understanding the role of the microbiome in human health and development.

By gaining a complete picture of the relationship between the microbiome and human culture and biology, CIFAR’s Humans & the Microbiome team will open up new understanding of the roots of disease, issues of early development, our susceptibility to future pandemics, and even human behaviour.

Founded in: 2014


Members: 19


Supporters:
Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life; Manulife, Trottier Family Foundation; (1 anonymous donor)


Partners:
Brain Canada Foundation through the Canada Brain Research Fund, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQs), Genome British Columbia, Genome Canada


Disciplines:
Microbiology; developmental, evolutionary and stem cell biology; bacteriology; immunology; history; anthropology


 Contact: Kate Geddie

Fellows & Advisors

Program Directors

HMB_BrettFinlay
B. Brett Finlay
Program Co-Director

Brett Finlay‘s research explores the interaction between pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. Coli, and their host cells.

HMB_JanetRossant
Melissa Melby
Program Co-Director

Melissa Melby's research examines the ways in which environmental factors interact with human development to result in population differences in health.

Fellows

HMB_KatherineAmato

Katherine R. Amato

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Northwestern University
  • United States
HMB_ThomasBosch

Thomas Bosch

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • University of Kiel
  • Germany
Dominguez Bello_BW

Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Rutgers University
  • United States
HMB_EranElinav

Eran Elinav

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Israel
HMB_TamaraGilesVernick

Tamara Giles-Vernick

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Institut Pasteur
  • France
HMB_PhilippeGros

Philippe Gros

  • Trottier Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • McGill University
  • Canada
HMB_Karen-Guillemin

Karen Guillemin

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • University of Oregon
  • United States
Frederick Keck

Frédéric Keck

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Musée du quai Branly
  • France
HMB_SvenPettersson

Sven Pettersson

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Singapore
HMB_HendrikPoinar

Hendrik N. Poinar

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • McMaster University
  • Canada
HMB_TobiasRees

Tobias Rees

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Berggruen Institute
  • United States
HMB_PhilippeSansonetti

Philippe J. Sansonetti

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Institut Pasteur Collège de France
  • France
HMB_LipingZhao

Liping Zhao

  • Fellow
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Rutgers University
  • United States

Advisors

HMB_MartinBlaser

Martin Blaser

  • Advisor
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine
  • United States
HMB_StanislavDuskoEhrlich

Stanislav Dusko Ehrlich

  • Advisor
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • INRA
  • King's College London
  • United Kingdom
HMB_MargaretMcFallNgai

Margaret J. McFall-Ngai

  • Advisory Committee Chair
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • United States
Bio Outline

Mark Nichter

  • Advisor
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • University of Arizona
  • United States
HMB_JanetRossant

Janet Rossant

  • Advisor
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • University of Toronto
  • Hospital for Sick Children
  • Canada

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars

HMB_KatherineAmato

Katherine R. Amato

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016-2018
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Northwestern University
  • United States
Hiutung Chu-BW

Hiutung Chu

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • University of California San Diego
  • United States
NaamaGevaZatorsky_webbio

Naama Geva-Zatorsky

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018-2020
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Technion
  • Israel
Tal Korem-BW

Tal Korem

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Columbia University
  • United States
HMB_AlexanderKwarteng

Alexander Kwarteng

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017-2019
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • Ghana
HMB_CorinneMauriceScholar

Corinne Maurice

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016-2018
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • McGill University
  • Canada
Jessica Metcalf

Jessica L. Metcalf

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018-2020
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • Colorado State University
  • United States
Carolina Tropini-BW

Carolina Tropini

  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Humans & the Microbiome
  • University of British Columbia
  • Canada