Friends with Benefits: The Human Microbiome



  • February 6, 2013
  • Offering Format: Public Event, Lecture
  • Museum of Science
  • Free; register online
  • Associated Persons

    With Eric J. Alm, PhD, Karl Van Tassel Career Development Associate Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT; associate member, Broad Institute; Martin J. Blaser, MD, George and Muriel Singer Professor of Medicine, professor of microbiology, and director of the Human Microbiome Program at New York University Langone Medical Center; John Cryan, PhD, professor and chair, Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience at University College Cork, Ireland; Rob Knight, PhD, associate professor, Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Computer Science, and BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist


From birth on, we encounter and become home to hundreds of microbial species. In fact, the 100 trillion bacterial cells inside us outnumber our cells ten to one and bring eight million bacterial genes to cohabitate with our 22,000 genes. This enormous and diverse ecosystem — the human microbiome — functions as another organ.

Scientists are only just beginning to understand its influence on human development, physiology, immunity, and nutrition. Some microbes may affect diseases like obesity, Type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and even our mental health. Venture into the mysterious realm of the gut and learn how the microbiome impacts human health.

This program is free thanks to the generosity of the Lowell Institute.

Photo © Photo Researchers


Additional funding provided by