Default header image

Gairdner Microbiome Symposium: Exploring Nutrition, Health and Culture through a Microbiome Lens

June 20, 2024
University of Guelph and online

Register for the In-Person Symposium or for the Virtual Symposium

General registration closes June 10 for the in-person symposium and June 17 for the virtual option.

The University of Guelph’s College of Biological Science will be hosting the Gairdner Microbiome Symposium on June 20, 2024, in partnership with the Gairdner Foundation.

The human gut microbiome has garnered enormous interest in the past two decades, both from scientists and the general public. The gut microbiome refers to the collection of microorganisms – bacteria, viruses, yeast and more – that make their home within our intestines. Damage to the gut microbiome has been shown to be associated with, and even cause, a growing number of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, obesity and allergies.

Diet is a major driver of gut microbial health and activity. Since everyone harbours a gut microbiome that is unique to them, understanding how our diets are transformed by our own microbes is a complex problem in personalized medicine, but one which stands to revolutionize medicine, if it can be harnessed effectively. 

The Gairdner Microbiome Symposium will explore the role of the microbiome in medicine and nutrition, as well as the impacts of culture and industrialization on our gut microbiomes.   

The day-long event will feature three speakers including:

Jack Gilbert, Elena Verdu and David Good
  • Precision Microbiome Medicine, presented by Dr. Jack Gilbert, Professor of the Department of Pediatrics and Scripps Institute of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, President of Applied Microbiology International and winner of the 2023 IFF Microbiome Science Prize
  • Are Microbes the Missing Ingredient in Celiac Disease?, presented by Dr. Elena Verdu, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, associate director of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute and director of the Axenic Gnotobiotic Unit at McMaster University
  • Missing Microbiomes and Where to Find Them: Bridging Science and Advocacy with the Yanomami People, presented by David Good, PhD candidate in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph, Explorer’s Club 50 awardee 2023, and founder of the Yanomami Foundation

There will be a Q&A session with the speakers, a research poster competition for trainees, and lab tours of the University of Guelph’s Summerlee Science Complex.

The event is free and open to researchers, students, professionals and the general public. Lunch will be included.

Virtual Symposium Option

A virtual option is available, if you cannot attend the Gairdner Symposium in person but would still like to attend! Register for a ticket on the Eventbrite page for the virtual conference. The virtual option will be offered through Zoom. We will broadcast the speaker talks as well as the Q&A session afterwards.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I registered but can no longer attend?

Please unregister from the event on EventBrite to allow someone else to register!

Where can I park?

Please see Parking page. Note that a $10.25 daily parking pass is required.

Is there public transportation to the University?

Yes. Please see Guelph Transit for more information.

What does it cost to attend?

This event is free to all participants, including lunch! If you drive, you will be required to purchase a one day parking pass.

I can’t get to Guelph, can I still attend the conference?

Yes! We have a virtual conference option that you can register for on a separate Eventbrite page.

Can I ask a personal medical question?

Unfortunately, our speakers are unable to answer any medical questions of a personal nature or provide medical advice.

Questions? Contact organizers at