Microbiota and Mucosal Immunity | By Aralia Leon Coria

The Society for Mucosal Immunology held this year’s symposium “Microbiota and Mucosal Immunity: Rules of Engagement in Health and Disease”. Attending this meeting was a unique opportunity since my work is focused in elucidating the role of microbiota and mucus layer in gastrointestinal health, so by participating in this meeting I got amazing feedback about my work, got to talk with experts on the field as well as with trainees from labs all over the world and more importantly share my results to an audience of experts. One of the things I liked the most was the high quality of research that was presented in this meeting, they had clinical work, basic science work, work done in animal models, all kinds of different approaches to microbiota study.

This year, the symposium was held in the city of Toronto, at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel with a magnificent view to the Marina and Lake Ontario, being my first time in Toronto I took advantage of the hotel location and went from knowing a bit about this city to finally falling in love with Toronto´s vibe, markets and multiculturalism!

The first day we had a keynote lecture at the University of Toronto where Dr. Relman from Stanford talked about stability and resilience in the human microbiome.

The second day started early with sessions about I) Influence of microbiota in asthma and allergies, II) Secretory IgA and regulation of mucosal microbiota and III) Microbiota and gut immune system development, all these plenary sessions were given by experts on the field, in between plenary sessions we had concurrent sessions where I had the chance to present my work. The day ended with a poster session where I presented my poster and receive very valuable feedback about my experiments.

On the third day the plenary sessions included: I) Intestinal microbiota and IBD and II) Mucosal immunity of the urogenital tract microbiota, with an afternoon trainee networking reception and the last poster session.

The last day was only half day where we had a session about therapeutic modulation of the human gut microbiota and ended with a Rising Star session where the organizers chose the top 4 work done by trainees, giving them the chanceto present at the plenary session. It was a nice opportunity for listening to peers who are working on my same field and are having amazing results and using the most advanced technology.

This symposium was one of a kind in terms of relevance for my work, the knowledge I got from it will help to move forward my work and gave me a personal perspective of where is the microbiota field moving to.

I want to thanks NSERC-CREATE HPI program and the Society for Mucosal Immunology for providing with the funds for this trip.



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