Universal Dynamics of Human Microbial Ecosystems

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Dr. Amir Bashan
07/01/2016 - 10:00
בניין פיזיקה, חדר 302

Our body is colonized by trillions of microbes, known as the human microbiome, 
living with us in a complex ecological system. Those micro-organisms play a crucial 
role in determining our health and well-being, and there are ongoing efforts to
develop tools and strategies to control these ecosystems.
In this talk I address a simple but fundamental question: are the microbial ecosystems 
in different people governed by the same host-independent ecological
 principles, represented by a characteristic (i.e. “universal”) mathematical model?
Answering this question determines the feasibility of general therapies and 
control strategies for the human microbiome. 
I will introduce our novel methodology that distinguishes between two scenarios: host-independent 
and host-specific underlying dynamics. This methodology has been applied to study 
different body sites across healthy subjects. The results can
fundamentally improve our understanding of forces and processes shaping human microbial 
ecosystems, paving the way to design general microbiome-based therapies.