Let them eat dirt: The role of microbiota in health and disease
Burnaby – Dr. Brett Finlay, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (UBC) Distinguished Professor and Senior CIFAR Fellow (Canadian Institute for Advanced Research) discussed how microbes play a central part in early childhood development, why some germs are good for our immunity and disease prevention and how to balance hygiene with microbial exposure in schools, hospitals, and at home. Providing a unique perspective on quality of life from a microbial perspective, Finlay discussed the role of microbes in human health and disease.
Surveying the field of microbiology, Finlay charted the evolution of microbiology as a scientific discipline and noted the importance of microbes to human health throughout the human life cycle.
“We are more microbial than we are human,” he explained.
In particular Dr. Finlay focused on the role of microbes in disease treatment and prevention, illustrating the importance of microbes in the prevention and treatment of asthma, crohn’s disease, colitis, and even certain neurological disorders. In doing so, he provided a unique perspective on the role microbiology has and continues to play in ensuring the quality of life of human society.
The session concluded with active audience participation in a question and answer period with Finlay. The event was attended by members of Vancouver’s scientific and academic community as well as members of the Jamat.