The Third Innovator’s Forum on Human Microbiome Concluded in Shanghai, China

The Third Innovator’s Forum on Human Microbiome was held in WH Ming Hotel Shanghai on July 28 and 29. Over 600 attendees, which included scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors, convened to discuss the current status and future of microbiome-related industries in China and other countries.  

 The conference was hosted by the Tenth People’s Hospital of Tongji University and was assisted by several other entities including Realbio Technology and Chinese Society for Microbiology. In addition, Nature Research, which is the academic support unit of Nature, provided academic support for the conferences.     

The 2-day event offered the audience many exciting talks. Pierre Belichard, the CEO of Enterome, gave a talk titled “Microbiome-derived Immuotherapy”, in which he presented the latest results from this leading microbiome company in France, including the latest development of EB 8018 for treating IBD and EO2401 for tumor immunotherapy.  

Dr Jingyuan Fang, who led a team to recently publish a milestone Cell paper (10.1016/j.cell.2017.07.008) in deciphering the mechanistic relationship between Fusobacterium nucleatum and colorectal cancer, shared his group’s new findings on gut microbiome-based screening of the cancer in his talk of “Thoughts on Gut Microecology for Diagnosis and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer”.   

Dr Liping Zhao of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Rutgers University, reported their new findings and insight in his talk titled “Foundation species nad essential guilds: ecological understanding of the causative role of gut microbiota in human metabolic health”.

Dr Nan Qin, who is a professor at Tongji University and also the CEO of Realbio Technology, gave a talk titled “Human Microbiome: the Trend of Research and Industry”, in which he highlighted major global industrial events in microbiome and also briefed the new developments of his company.

Exciting stories also included, but not limited to, development and performance of the latest BGI sequencing machines (by Dr Hui Jiang of BGI), PD1-based cancer therapy and association of gut microbiota (by Dr Weijia Fang of Zhejiang University), and DNA methylation- and third generation sequencing-based high-resolution binning of metagenomic reads (by Dr Gang Fang of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the results were recently published in Nat Biotech doi:10.1038/nbt.4037).

 In addition to academic talks, speakers also exchanged their opinions in industrial development, investment, and national policy related to human microbiome. The conference clearly shows that gut microbiome research and industry is undergoing a rapid growth phase.