The developing infant microbiome: Is there a developing conundrum?

Dr Steven Leach
School of Women’s and Children’s Health, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW
15 August 2018 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Kirby Seminar Space, level 6, Wallace Wurth East, C27

BABS-SOMS-GSBME Cross-Faculty Seminar

Speaker host: Dr Megan Lenardon

Birth is a momentous event in any life. Birth is also crucial in the development of the intestinal microbiome and is generally considered its origin. The intestinal microbiome will significantly contribute to the health and wellbeing of the individual throughout life, and the first year of life is critical to the development of the intestinal microbiome. However, there are many early life events that may influence the development of the intestinal microbiome, and the impact of these events on later health and disease is only starting to be revealed. Feeding during this period has been a controversial topic over the last few decades, and there is now a well-deserved consensus of the superiority of initial breast-feeding for the nutritional requirements of the infant. But what about the microbiome? This seminar will review what we know about the developing infant microbiome and investigate the question “Is there a developing conundrum for what is best for the developing microbiome?”

Speaker Biography: Dr Steven Leach is a Research Fellow in the School of Women’s & Children’s Health in the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW and Head of Laboratory Research at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick. His overarching research focus is pediatric gastrointestinal health. His specific research interests include; investigating markers of inflammatory disease to find better ways to diagnose, monitor and predict gastrointestinal health and disease, investigating novel nutritional therapies to treat gastrointestinal disease and non-drug therapies to reduce gastrointestinal inflammation and the investigation of the Intestinal Microbiome. Currently he is investigating the process of intestinal microbiome development in newborn infants and the factors that contribute to the development of a healthy microbiome as well as the factors that contribute to developing a microbiome that predisposes to disease.