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ME, MY MICROBIOME, AND I: The Vital Cells of Existence

Saturday, June 2, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Nearly every health website offering eternal youth and beauty will sooner or later focus in on gut health and improving your microbiome, as if the microbiome were something that needed fixing. In fact, much of you isn’t you, and that’s okay. For every cell in your body, there’s another tiny single-celled creature that also calls your body home. Far from being germs we should eradicate, these ancient friends allow us to digest food, breathe air, and fight off disease. They were here long before us and will undoubtedly remain long after we’re gone. They are our microbiome, and after eons of cohabitation, we are finally getting to know one another better. Of course, we aren’t always the best of neighbors. Autoimmune diseases, allergies, depression, and Alzheimer’s may be diseases of an unhappy microbiome. Come join world-renowned microbiologists Martin Blaser, Jo Handelsman, Rob Knight, and David Relman as they zoom in on the micro world and zoom out on its macro influence.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.


Emily SenayPhysician Journalist

Emily Senay is a physician, medical and public health educator, broadcast journalist, and author. She is an assistant professor of Medicine in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a clinician in the World Trade Center Health Program in New York City.

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Martin BlaserPHYSICIAN

Martin Blaser is the Singer Professor of Medicine, Professor of Microbiology, and Director of the Human Microbiome Program at NYU School of Medicine. He served as Chair, Department of Medicine from 2000-2012. A physician and microbiologist, Dr. Blaser studies the relationships we have with our persistently colonizing bacteria.

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Jo HandelsmanMicrobiologist

Jo Handelsman is the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a Vilas Research Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. She is responsible for groundbreaking studies in microbial communication and work in the field of metagenomics.

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Rob KnightMicrobial Ecologist

Rob Knight is Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering and is Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at the University of California San Diego. He authored Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes.

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David RelmanMicrobiologist, Physician

David A. Relman, M.D., is the Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor in the Departments of Medicine, and of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University, and Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, California.

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About Gerald W. Lynch Theater

The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is proud to have hosted the World Science Festival, the Lincoln Center Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, New York City Opera, Mummenschanz, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, Inside the Actor’s Studio, Comedy Central Presents, the American Justice Summit, and the 2013 NYC Mayoral Democratic Debates. We are home to premiere galas, conferences, international competitions, and graduations. The Theater is a member of CUNY Stages, a consortium of 16 performing arts centers located on CUNY campuses across New York City and the CUNY Dance Initiative. For more information, and a schedule of events, please visit www.GeraldWLynchTheater.com.