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The Microbes and Social Equity Symposium 2021 Session 2: “Nutrition and the gut microbiome”

June 15 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

The Microbes and Social Equity working group and The University of Maine Institute of Medicine present an inaugural symposium on “Microbes, Social Equity, and Rural Health,” which will be held June 14–18 via Zoom. The symposium highlights recent investigations into beneficial and detrimental instances of microbial exposure, in the context of how social policy may mediate or deepen disparities between and within populations. In addition to invited presentations on thematic sections, each section will involve a discussion session using smaller breakout groups, to facilitate conversations and brainstorming between attendees. These groups will be arranged around smaller themes or research questions, and group members will identify knowledge gaps for future research, as well as list actionable steps that can be taken using existing research to promote equitable social policy. Ideally, meeting attendees will gain knowledge, collaborators and connections, and a path forward for turning their research into evidence-based policy to support public health.

All events are free but registration is required.

Session 2:

Session leader: Laura Grieneisen

Access to fresh foods, and especially fruits, vegetables, and other products high in fiber, is well demonstrated to be affected by social inequity. The lack of fiber and nutritious food can dramatically hamper a functional gut microbiome. With the effects of COVID-19 being felt, the loss of income/loss of SNAP benefits and disruption to our food and transport systems will make it more difficult for many individuals to obtain a nutritious diet and reap the benefit of a healthy gut microbiome. This effect will be disproportionately felt by lower-income individuals. This session explores the effects of diet on the gut microbiome and health, food insecurity, policy to support food access, and how to use existing resources to create community-based food systems.

Session Speakers:

Abigail Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, and Associate Director, Nutrition Coordinating Center, “University of Maine Cooperative Extension Programs, Resources and Research Relevant to Food Insecurity”

Frank Wertheim, Ph.D., Associate Extension Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Sabrina Young, Ph.D., Research Agricultural Economist in the Diet, Safety, and Health Economics Branch in the Food Economics Division of the USDA. Presenting on current federal government policy support for food access, generalized advice about policy

Prior to this session, you may want to watch these recorded talks:

  • “Teaching with microbes: Biopolitical lessons from fermentation,” Megan Carney, Ph.D. March 17, 2021.
  • “The Global Microbiome: microbes and public health beyond biology,” Amber Benezra, Ph.D. March 10, 2021.
  • “Investigating social determinates of health and social equity among Veterans; a United States-Veteran Microbiome Project,” LTC. Andrew J. Hoisington, Ph.D. April 14, 2021.

Register for this session

For full program and registrations details: