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What does the current state of the science tell us about the human microbiome – and how can this knowledge drive improvements to public health?

Research into the human microbiome is evolving at a rapid pace, disrupting our established understanding of healthy development and aging. At the same time, there is both burgeoning public interest in the microbiome and its role in health and sustained practices that could negatively affect the microbiome and pose long-term health consequences.

Public health leaders need the best available evidence to get and stay ahead of these changes. Ensuring the emerging evidence on the human microbiome is integrated into the early development of public health programs, practices and policies will be essential to ensure our health system is best prepared for the future of the microbiome. Cross-sectoral conversation to explore where microbiome research can inform public health interventions and where future research is needed is an important step in realizing this need.

On May 1, 2019, global leaders in microbiome research from CIFAR’s program in Humans & the Microbiome will share insights from the frontiers of microbiome research with participants of Public Health 2019. Through the interactive session “The Future of the Microbiome in Public Health”, CIFAR fellows will explore how the human microbiome shapes health and disease across the lifespan, the implications of shifting societal and cultural practices on the microbiome, and how emerging evidence in these areas could inform the development of key public health programs, practices and policies.

Session Chair: Amy Cook, Senior Director of Knowledge Mobilization, CIFAR


  • Eran Elinav, CIFAR Fellow and Principal investigator, Weizmann Institute of Science

  • Corinne Maurice, CIFAR Global Scholar and Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University

  • Melissa Melby, CIFAR Advisor and Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of Delaware