Gut Microbiome-Brain Axis: ECR Event

Follow your gut and join Proteintech as we host our first ever early career researcher (ECR) mini-symposium on the gut microbiome-brain axis in disease!

We are excited to announce our keynote speaker:

Dr. Eran Blacher, Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University and winner of the 2021 NOSTER and Science prize
Talk Title: Our Gut Microbiome in Neurological Health and Disease

ECR Speakers:

Dr. Arashdeep Singh, University of Pennsylvania 
Talk title: Diet-Gut Microbiome-Brain Axis in Obesity

Dr. Katie Guzzetta, ETH Zurich
Talk title: The Gut Microbiota: A Novel Potential Target to Combat Aging-Related Cognitive Decline

Dr. Marie Hanscom, Michigan State University
Talk title: Gut-Microbiota-Brain Axis in Traumatic Brain Injury

Katherine Meckel, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Talk title: Microbiome-derived short-chain fatty acids modulate cocaine-seeking behaviors and transcriptional control in a rat model of cocaine addiction

Event Chair and Moderator:

Dr. Sierra Simpson
CEO and founder of BrilliantBiome


This event is now complete. To watch the recording, follow the link below. 


Watch Video

Meet the speakers!

photo of Eran Blacher






Eran Blacher

Postdoctoral Fellow @Stanford School of Medicine

Dr. Blacher carried out his B.Sc. studies in life sciences before completing his Ph.D. in neuroimmunology as a Dean’s honors list student in 2016, both at Tel-Aviv University, Israel. His postdoctoral studies were carried out in the laboratory of Eran Elinav from the Department of Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel (2016-2019), where he studied the role of the microbiome in the context of neurodegenerative diseases, and in the laboratory of Katrin Andreasson, in the Department of Neurology at Stanford School of Medicine, where he is   studying the gut-brain axis in aging and neurological diseases (2019-2022). He will join the Silberman Institute of life-Sciences of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, as an Assistant Professor (2023) where he will open his new research lab studying the microbiome-gut-brain axis in aging and neurological disorders.

photo of Arashdeep Singh

Arashdeep Singh

Research Scientist @University of Pennsylvania 

Dr. Arashdeep Singh received his Ph.D. in nutrition and metabolism from University of Calgary, Canada and is currently a Research Scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center and Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, USA. His research focuses on investigating how long-term consumption of palatable high-fat, high-sugar foods cause changes in the gut-brain circuitry and the function of the gut-vagus-brain axis to promote metabolic disorders including obesity. By utilizing a combination of neural activity and circuit mapping with state-of-the-art gut and brain manipulation approaches, his research aims to unravel how neural networks that receive inputs from the gut are dysregulated in metabolic disease states.

photo of Katie Guzzetta

Katie Guzzetta

Postdoctoral Researcher @ETH Zurich

Dr. Katie Guzzetta is a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Prof. Randy Platt at ETH Zurich. Here she is applying novel CRISPR-based technologies to the microbiota-gut-brain axis to help understand mechanisms by which microbes interact with their host and strengthen microbe-based diagnostic tools. Originally from the USA, Katie holds a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Hamilton College, and completed her PhD in the lab of Prof. John Cryan and Dr. Olivia O'Leary at APC Microbiome Ireland within University College Cork, where her research focussed on understanding how the gut microbiota influences hippocampal neurogenesis and behavior throughout the lifespan. Following her PhD, Katie joined the lab of Prof. Laurie Cox at Harvard Medical School where she supported ongoing projects investigating the relationships between the gut microbiome and Alzheimer's Disease.

photo of Marie Hanscom

Marie Hanscom

Postdoctoral Fellow @Michigan State University

Dr. Hanscom received her B.A. (Anthropology) and B.S. (Biological Sciences) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2002 and her Ph.D. (Molecular Medicine) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore in 2020. Currently, Dr. Hanscom is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Brian Gulbransen in the Department of Physiology at Michigan State University. Her research focus is on brain-gut axis dysfunction in the pathogenesis and progression of traumatic brain injury and inflammatory bowel disease, understanding how nerves and perivascular adipocytes interact to regulate blood pressure, and how enteric glia regulate GI motor function in health and disease.

photo of Katherine Meckel

Katherine Meckel

PhD Candidate @Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Katherine Meckel is a PhD Candidate in Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her dissertation research in the Kiraly Laboratory examines the effects of the gut microbiome and its metabolites on rodent models of cocaine addiction. Her work is supported by an NIH Blueprint F99/K00 fellowship as well as the Diversifying the Community of Neuroscience R25 program.

photo of Sierra Simpson

Sierra Simpson

Founder and CEO @BrilliantBiome

Dr. Simpson is the CEO and Founder of BrilliantBiome, a microbiome-based precision medicine platform. She founded BrilliantBiome in late 2020, after completing her PhD in the Microbiome, Neuroscience, and Computational Biology at The Scripps Research Institute. In tandem with starting the company, she has continued her work in the gut-brain axis as a Post-Doctoral Scholar in the laboratory of Dr. Olivier George at UCSD. Dr. Simpson is interested in integrative medicine and connecting how the microbiome plays a larger role in mental health and physical well-being.

Cancer Immunotherapy Early Career Researcher Meeting 2022 Video

Watch archived ECR events by clicking the links below

Cancer Immunotherapy Early Career Researcher Meeting 2021

Neurodegeneration Early Career Researcher Meeting 2021