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XXVII Biennial Conference on Gastrointestinal Function (Formerly International Biennial Conference on Rumen Function)


While fundamental questions regarding roles of microorganisms in ruminant digestion, and factors influencing the efficiency of ruminant digestion as a whole remain, new problems and challenges face animal agriculture. Many of these challenges and issues have a microbiological context, and will be best addressed by integrative studies in microbiology, (immuno)physiology, and nutrition. The calls for further restrictions on antimicrobial use for growth promotion and prophylaxis, pre- and post-harvest food safety, and the impact of animal agriculture on the environment are just a few examples of areas that will require new lines of investigation in microbiology, (immuno)physiology and nutrition. Additionally, there is a rapidly expanding interest in how the gastrointestinal microbiome impacts human health and well being. More mechanistic studies of pre- and probiotic interventions for the treatment of diarrheal disease and irritable bowel syndromes have been demanded, and the interest in host-microbe interactions has now broadened to include commensal as well as pathogenic bacteria. To embrace these advances the scope of the Conference expanded, and in 2003, officially changed its name to the Conference on Gastrointestinal Function (CGIF). The 2005 meeting is especially notable in this regard; the presentations included probiotic and prebiotic development (for humans and companion animals, as well as livestock and poultry), genomic analyses of predominant species of ruminal bacteria, ecology of gut microbiomes and ecology of antibiotic resistance, and host immune responses to nutrition and the gut microbiome. No other Conference collectively addresses the microbiological, nutritional, and environmental interactions in food animal production systems as does CGIF. Attendance at the conference has remained strong, around 125 to 150 scientists, many of whom are at the forefront of research in these new areas, and in North America, supported by NRI-CGP. And the expanded scope of our conference has begun to attract many more scientists from a variety of disciplines, especially those with interests in human nutrition and biomedical sciences. The 2007 Conference will maintain its expanded scope of topics while adhering to traditions that have made the Conference so highly regarded.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The Biennial International Conference on Rumen Function has been held in Chicago since 1951, and has long served as the venue for presenting the latest advances in our understanding of the biology underpinning the nutrition and health of ruminant animals under the intensive production practices. In addition, the fundamental studies conducted and presented by Conference attendees have led to advances in the health and nutrition of other species including swine, poultry and humans. No other Conference collectively addresses the microbiological, nutritional, and environmental interactions associated with gastrointestinal function in food animals and man, as does CGIF. NRICGP support of the 2007 Conference will be allocated to offset costs associated with venue placement, and travel expenses for the invited speakers. <P>APPROACH: The Conference is comprised of two full days of presentations. There will be four oral sessions, each launched with a plenary lecture from a pre-eminent scientist in gastrointestinal function. The first day of oral presentations will conclude with the Bryant Memorial Lecture, also given by an invited speaker. Immediately following will be a formal poster session, although posters will be left on display for both days of the meeting, providing attendees with the opportunity to take more time to view and discuss these contributions. <P>
PROGRESS: 2007/03 TO 2008/02

<BR>OUTPUTS: 1. Location and registration costs. The 2007 Conference was held on April 17-18, 2007 in downtown Chicago at the Gleacher Center which is operated by the University of Chicago's School of Business. It is located on North Cityfront Plaza drive just north of the Chicago river. This served as an excellent venue for the Conference with a 150-seat auditorium, lounges, meeting rooms and poster areas, and is within walking distance of a variety of hotels. Registration costs were $100 for students and postdoctoral fellows, and $150 for scientists, industry, and other participants. <BR>2. Sponsors: Sustaining level: >$5,000 CSREES-USDA and Cargill. Platinum level: >$2,000 Alltech, Lallemend, France Foreign Ministry-Office of Business and Technology, Ross Laboratories, and Novus International. Silver level: >$1,000 NPC, Chris Hansen, and Elanco. Bronze level: >$500 JL Microbiology Inc., OxThera, Vi-Cor, DSR, Pfizer Animal Health, Land O'Lakes Inc., Alpharma, and Pioneer. <BR>3. Program: The Conference opened with a mixer on Monday evening April 15. The Scientific Conference comprised two full days of presentations divided into four oral sessions on April 16-17, each launched with a plenary lecture from a pre-eminent scientist in the field. Plenary Speakers for the Conference were Marion Leclerc, INRA, Jouy-en-Josas, France Title: New insights into the prokaryotic community of the mucosal fraction of human ileum: a metagenomic approach. David Topping, Preventative Health National Research Flagship, Australia Title: Resistant starch as a vehicle for delivering health benefits to the human large bowel. James Versalovic, Texas Childrens Hospital, Baylor University, Texas Title: Commensal-derived probiotics as anti-inflammatory agents. Evelyn Forano, INRA, Clermont-Ferrand, France Title: Carbohydrate metabolism in Fibrobacter succinogenes. The first day of oral presentations concluded with The Marvin P. Bryant Memorial Lecture delivered by Michael J. McInerney, University of Oklahoma, Norman, USA. Title: Syntrophy - lifestyle of the thermodynamically challenged. In addition, 17 oral presentations selected from submitted abstracts were chosen for oral presentation in the four oral sessions. The program also featured two poster sessions with 70 posters displayed and attended by presenters during assigned poster viewing times. <BR>PARTICIPANTS: Principal Investigators: Roderick I. Mackie, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801; Mark Morrison, Professor, Department of Animal Sciences,The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210. Organizing Committee: Chairman - Mark Morrison, Department of Animal Sciences,The Ohio State University; Secretary - Jane A. Z. Leedle, JL Microbiology Inc., Heartland, Wisconsin; Treasurer - Roderick I. Mackie, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinoi; Microbiology Panel Chair - Isaac K.O. Cann, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois; Nutrition/Physiology Panel Chair - Jeffrey L. Firkins, Department of Animal Sciences,The Ohio State University.<P>IMPACT: 2007/03 TO 2008/02
<Br>The Conference on Gastrointestinal Function maintains a tradition established in 1951 to provide academic and industry scientists a forum to present the latest advances in our understanding of gastrointestinal microbiology, (immuno)physiology, and nutritional sciences as it pertains to the health and well being of both domesticated and non-domesticated herbivores. The Conference on Gastrointestinal Function has expanded its scope of topics to include studies that use livestock and poultry species for biomedical research, in addition to a broader range of studies with direct relevance to human health and well being. Research that addresses the environmental impacts from gastrointestinal microbiology (e.g. the ecology of antibiotic resistance and waste management) is also presented at Conference. The expanded forum of the 2007 Conference included papers and posters concerning prebiotic, probiotic and DFM development and applications, pre- and post-harvest food safety interventions, nutrition of livestock, humans and companion animals, the immunology and host immune responses to nutrition and the gut microbiome, and microbial physiology and genomic analyses of gut bacteria.

Mackie, Roderick
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
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