June 27-29 2017

Boston, MA

Workshop A
Tuesday 27th June

08.00 - 11.00

Artificial Microbiome Products- The Role of Synthetic Biology in the Microbiome

Workshop Leader: Paul Miller, Chief Scientific Officer, Synlogic

Synthetic biology is an emerging science that sits at the intersection of biology and engineering. This workshop will outline the power of synthetic biology and how it can be applied to microbiome-based therapeutics by developing new pathways or shifting important functionalities of the human microbiome to treat disease.

Join two leading experts in synthetic biology to:

  • Learn how synthetic biology can augment innate activities of the microbiome with enhanced metabolic capabilities to drive therapeutic effects and restore functionality
  • Compare and contrast current microbiome methodologies with synthetic modalities to develop new environments for medical research
  • Listen to success stories in using engineered bacteria to treat conditions that are currently underserved in the healthcare market

Paul Miller, Chief Scientific Officer, Synlogic

Paul Miller

Dr. Paul Miller joined Synlogic in 2014 as chief scientific officer and is accountable for all aspects of discovery research and platform expansion at the company. Previously, Paul was the vice president of infection biology at AstraZeneca, where he was responsible for the early discovery portfolio and strategy while also leading several external collaborations. Prior to Astra-Zeneca, Paul was the chief scientific officer for antibacterial research at Pfizer, leading discovery teams that produced eight drug development candidates, provided critical research support for several successful marketed antibiotics including Zithromax and Zyvox, and also successfully advanced a novel oxazolidinone (sutezolid) for tuberculosis into Phase II studies. A microbial geneticist by training, Paul began his professional career at the Warner-Lambert Company in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he integrated modern molecular-genetic approaches into a traditional antibacterial drug discovery program and established novel target discovery projects. His work there led to new insights into the mechanisms by which bacteria sense and respond to antibiotics and other environmental agents. Paul received his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the Albany Medical College, and conducted post-doctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health. He has also served as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Microbial Threats.

Workshop B
Tuesday 27th June

11.30 - 14.30

How to Harness and Utilize Bioinformatics for the Microbiome

Workshop Leader: Nur Hasan, Vice President and Head of R&D, CosmosID Workshop Leader: Manoj Dadlani, CEO, CosmosID


Bioinformatics is key to understanding and analyzing the microbiome. This workshop will give an overview of the power of bioinformatics in discovery, screening, diagnostics, and many additional aspects of microbiome analysis. By attending this work shop:

  • Learn about the role of bioinformatics in pharmaceutical / probiotics discovery and R&D: new product development, evidence of utility, effects of drugs on the microbiome and the microbiome’s effect on drugs
  • Understand the use of bioinformatics for research and diagnostics, including establishing a flexible workflow and how to obtain highly confident and actionable results
  • Use the microbiome to screen for biomarkers, antimicrobial resistance, pathogens of interest, FMT screening, microbiome shift analysis and microbial functional analysis

Nur Hasan, Vice President and Head of R&D, CosmosID

Nur Hasan Headshot

Dr. Nur A Hasan is a molecular biologist with over 15 years of experience in microbial genomics, metagenomics, molecular ecology, infectious disease diagnosis and public health. Dr. Hasan is Vice President and Head of R&D at CosmosID. In addition to leading the Science Team at CosmosID, Hasan is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Maryland Institute of Advanced Computer Studies and the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in College Park, MD. Dr. Hasan received his Bachelor and Masters in Microbiology and M.B.A in Marketing and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology.

Manoj Dadlani, CEO, CosmosID

Manoj Dadlani Headshot

Manoj Dadlani, M. Eng., is the Chief Executive Officer at CosmosID.  He is a Cornell University graduate in biological engineering and served as head of the US branch of Applied Value Management Consulting. He subsequently transitioned to the investment side of the Applied Value Group, which is the lead investor in CosmosID.

Workshop C
Tuesday 27th June

15.00 - 18.00

Mind your gut: Harnessing the link between the human gut microbiome and the Central Nervous System to develop new therapeutics for neurological diseases

Workshop Leader: David Donabedian, CEO and Co-Founder, Axial Biotherapeutics Workshop Leader: Sarkis Mazmanian, Co-founder , Axial Biotherapeutics Workshop Leader: Alessio Fasano, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School


Emerging data suggests that there is a link between changes in the gut microbiome and neurological diseases and disorders. This workshop will outline recent scientific advances in unraveling the gut-brain connections and potential pathways to harness these findings for novel therapeutic approaches.

Join three leading experts to:

  • Learn what we know about the connection between gut microbiota and the brain and how these findings have created a new paradigm of how we think about neurological diseases
  • Probe data and experience from the broader microbiome space and the translational attempts in other therapeutic indications
  • Discuss the path forward and critical steps towards developing a new class of therapeutics

David Donabedian, CEO and Co-Founder, Axial Biotherapeutics


David H. Donabedian, Ph.D., will serve as Chief Executive Officer of Axial and will also serve on its Board.  Dr. Donabedian is an accomplished business development and strategy executive with extensive leadership experience. Dr. Donabedian has a track record of building companies, most recently as a Venture Partner at Longwood Fund.

Prior to joining Longwood, Dr. Donabedian has held various leadership roles at biopharmaceutical companies including AbbVie and GSK. At AbbVie, Dr. Donabedian served as Vice President & Global Head of Ventures and Early Stage Collaborations where he led a global team that completed significant transactions across multiple therapeutic areas and stages of development. Prior to AbbVie, Dr. Donabedian served as Vice President Global New Deal Strategy and Development at GlaxoSmithKline, and Senior Manager at Accenture’s Strategic Services Consulting Group.

He holds a BA in Chemistry from St. Anselm College, a Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and an MBA from the University of North Carolina. He currently serves on the Board of Alcyone Life Sciences, a privately held CNS company which he co-founded.

Sarkis Mazmanian, Co-founder , Axial Biotherapeutics

Sarkis Mazmanian

Sarkis K Mazmanian, PhD, is the Louis & Nelly Soux Professor of Microbiology in the Division of Biology & Biological Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, where Dr. Mazmanian also received his PhD training in microbiology and immunology. He was a Helen Hay Whitney Post-doctoral Fellow and subsequently appointed assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in 2006, and later that year moved to Caltech. Dr. Mazmanian has won numerous awards including a Searle Scholar, Young Investigator of the Year at Harvard Medical School, Damon Runyon Innovation Award, was named by Discover Magazine as one of the “Best Brains in Science under 40”, “Life Science Superstar” by Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, and recently received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award.

His laboratory focuses on the study of beneficial bacterial molecules from the human gut microbiome as novel therapies for immunologic and neurologic disorders, with a specific focus on developing probiotic treatments for autism. He is a founder of 2 biotech companies, and has or currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of over a dozen companies, academic centers and not-for-profit foundations.

Alessio Fasano, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Alessio Fasano

Alessio Fasano, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center (MIBRC) at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Dr. Fasano’s current research expertise encompasses basic science focused on bacterial pathogenesis, gut microbiome composition and function in health and disease, the regulation of gut permeability, and intestinal mucosal biology and immunology, as well as translational science focused on the role of impaired intestinal barrier function in the pathogenesis of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. He was responsible for the discovery of zonulin, a protein involved in the regulation of tight junctions, which is released in conditions of dysbiosis.  Current research directed by Dr. Fasano is focused on the basic science of the gut microbiome and intestinal mucosal biology, as well as translational science focused on interventional clinical trials in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. He is founding co-chair of the MGH Research Institute’s Microbiome Think Tank, which regularly brings together researchers, clinicians, entrepreneurs and other interested parties to discuss opportunities in the emerging field of microbiome research and therapeutic applications for microbial dysbiosis.