U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Functional Role of Microbiome in Obesity

12/14/2015 8:00 AM
12/15/2015 12:30 PM
NIH Campus

Event Details


Obesity is a multifactorial condition, affected by altered energy balance resulting in increased adiposity. It has been shown to be highly influenced by genetics and lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity, and, as more recently documented, by environmental factors, such as gut microbiota.  Recent evidence suggests that gut microbiome composition can predict body composition (lean and obese) with 90 percent accuracy, compared to 60 percent accuracy with genetic composition, and the microbiome plays an important role in the outcomes associated with weight loss interventions. However, the functional relevance of microbial dysbiosis to the pathophysiology of obesity, or the exact nature of microbial changes associated with weight loss interventions and their relevance to obesity reduction, needs to be clearly established. Finally, the potential of microbiome-targeted therapies for obesity treatment still needs to be explored.

In order to deliberate the current evidence on the functional association between the microbiome and energy balance, to further explore microbial-targeted strategies for treating obesity, and to identify the research gaps and opportunities in the field, a focused workshop has been organized to engage microbiome and obesity experts in an interactive discussion. Invited experts will develop a set of relevant questions and research ideas for each topic that will serve as guidance for the discussions that will follow each brief presentation. Proceedings of the workshop will be published in a scientific journal.

Planning Team

  • Padma Maruvada, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
  • Andrew Bremer, NIDDK
  • Robert Karp, NIDDK
  • Peter Perrin, NIDDK
  • Philip Smith, NIDDK
  • Susan Yanovski, NIDDK
  • Phillip Daschner, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Sharon Ross, NCI
  • Cindy Davis, Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)
  • Pothur Srinivas, National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute (NHLBI)


Drs. Lee M. Kaplan and Eugene B. Chang

Registration Deadline

December 1, 2015​​​



Monday, December 14, 2015

8:00 a.m. – 8:10 a.m. Welcome Remarks
NIH leadership
8:10 a.m. – 8:20 a.m. Charges to the Workshop Participants
8:20 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Overview of the Workshop
Lee Kaplan and Eugene Chang (Chairs)
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Microbiome and Energy Balance
Moderator: Eric Ravussin
Lee Kaplan, Eugene Chang, Hans-Rudy Berthoud
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Dietary Modifications and the Microbiome
Moderator: Gary Wu
Chris Gardner, Jens Walter, Michael Jensen
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch Break
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Interplay of Inflammation, Metabolism, and the Microbiome
Moderator: Andrew Gewirtz
Ruth Ley, Fergus Shanahan, Vishwa Deep Dixit
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Developmental Origins of Obesity and the Role of the Microbiome
Moderator: Matthew Gillman
Marty Blaser, Brett Finlay, Kjersti Aagaard

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Limitations of Models and the Promise of Tools
Moderator: Karen Nelson
John Rawls, Rustem Ismagilov, Vincent Young, Rob Knight
9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Break
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Microbiome-Targeted Therapies for Obesity
Moderator: Samuel Klein
Justin Sonnenburg, Max Nieuwdorp, Alexander Khoruts
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Future Directions
Lee Kaplan, Eugene Chang, and others


Hotel Accommodations

Hyatt Regency Bethesda
One Bethesda Metro Center
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (301) 657-1234

Website:  http://bethesda.hyatt.com
(More hotel information can be obtained from this website.)

Government Room Rate

A limited block of sleeping rooms for meeting participants has been reserved at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda. The rate is the prevailing government rate of $177 per night for single occupancy, plus tax (13%). To reserve a hotel room at the group rate, call reservations at (301) 657-1234 and identify yourself as a member of the Functional Role of Microbiome in Obesity Meeting room block or click on the link: to book your group rate. The room block will be in effect at the Government rate only until November 13, 2015, or until full, whichever comes first. Any room reservations received after this date will be accepted on a space and rate-availability basis.

Reservation Dates

Book arrival on Sunday, December 13, 2015, and departure on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 (Wednesday, December 16 for international travelers.) If you require alternate dates, please send an email to Mary Allen of The Scientific Consulting Group, Inc. (SCG) at mallen@scgcorp.com. Any alternate date requests will need to be approved through the NIDDK.


Please be certain that the hotel provides you with a confirmation number for your reservation. After November 13, 2015, the official room block will be released, and the hotel may charge significantly higher rates and may be sold out. When making a reservation, please provide your room and bedding preferences. The hotel will assign specific room types at check-in, based on availability. Please be advised that requests are not guaranteed. Check-in time is 4:00 p.m., and checkout time is 12:00 p.m.


If you need to cancel your reservation, please do so by 4:00 p.m. on the day prior to arrival, or you will be charged a no-show fee for 1 night on your credit card.

NIH Visitor Information 

Information on visiting the NIH, campus maps, shuttle schedules, driving directions, security, and more can be found on the NIH Visitor Information page.​


Minutes are currently unavailable.


Attendees are currently unavailable.


Abstracts are currently unavailable.


  • Building 31, Room 6C, C-Wing
  • 9000 Rockville Pike
  • MD 20892