The gut microbiome is integral to our mental and physical health. Certain autoimmune diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and type 1 diabetes, exhibit microbiomes that differ from those of healthy individuals.
As microbiome research steadily increases, a massive amount of data on the communities of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that inhabit our bodies is being collected. And not surprisingly, what we’re learning as we move forward is just how much we don’t know about these organisms and the complex ecosystems they’re a part of.
How do we harness what we do know to design successful therapies that prevent and manage disease, optimizing the health of our population?
This was one critical question explored by the brightest minds in microbiome research at the October 2019 Keystone Symposium in Killarney, Ireland. An interdisciplinary group of scientists and physicians presented largely unpublished research in an effort to share, inspire, and provoke new ways of thinking. In sharing unpublished work, there is risk involved. When an entire group participates, however, this act of solidarity enables information to pass through as it becomes available, in order to swiftly and mindfully translate scientific research into treatment. Even Chief Scientific Officers of drug companies are carrying out their own projects to answer pressing questions, ensuring that their products are based on the best science available. The meeting concluded with words of gratitude and encouragement from the organizers, who left us with this inspiring thought:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
At GAI, we are not only interested in past and present research, but in what scientists believe the future holds. GAI is determined to further certain aspects of microbiome research by working together to identify, contribute to, and raise money to fund central investigations impacting our knowledge and treatment of autoimmune disease.