September 10-12, 2018
San Diego, CA

Day One
Tuesday, September 11

Day Two
Wednesday, September 12

Registration & Morning Coffee

Chairperson Opening Remarks

Can you Define & Measure a “Healthy Skin Microbiome”? – Reviewing Standards and Creating a Path Forward


Introduction and Purpose:
Through cutting edge research, the skin microbiome has been recently recognized as playing an essential role in maintaining overall skin health. By acting through scientifically recognized mechanisms (protection of pathogens, guiding immune responses and metabolising products), the bacteria, fungi and viruses that colonize the skin could be translated to effectively treat several currently unmet skin disorders including acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. The purpose of this opening theme will be to review the current perspectives of the skin microbiome as it relates to the treatment of health and disease, identify how researchers characterize a ‘healthy microbiome’ and open the conversation around setting clear standards around conducting basic research and ultimately creating products.

Targeted Design of Microbial Biotherapy for Skin Disease


• An experimental approach to gene discovery within the microbiome
• Validating associations between the presence of specific bacterial strains and biologic behaviors of the skin
• Introducing the concept of the hologenome with an emphasis on distinguishing associations from disease causation
• Outlining discoveries and early-stage clinical data of therapeutic discoveries in atopic dermatitis

Structure, Function and Diversity of the Healthy Human Microbiome

  • Curtis Huttenhower Associate Professor, Biostatistics, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

The Human Skin Microbiome: From Metagenomes to Therapeutics

  • Julia Oh Assistant Professor, The Jackson Laboratory


  • Metagenomic analysis of the human skin
  • Striking changes in the skin’s microbiome are observed in skin disease and other host factors like age or immunodeficiency
  • Understanding the function, structure, and dynamics of the microbiome to help design breakthrough therapeutics

The Role of the Active Microbiome in Skin Diseases


• Metatranscriptomic and metagenomics analysis of microbial community composition on the skin of patients with atopic dermatitis
• Showcasing the importance of integrating shotgun metagenomics with
metatranscriptomic data to understand disease progression and identify new treatments
• Using expression data to identify the most active microbiome in healthy and diseases states to better predict how microbes behave in the community

From Swab to Data – Considerations for Designing Skin Microbiome Studies


• In designing skin microbiome studies, it is important to understand how the different steps, from sampling to the generation of sequencing data, can impact the quality of your data and resulting interpretation of the ecology and function of skin microbes.
• Skin microbiome studies differ from those of other body sites, including the challenges of working with low-biomass samples.
• There are numerous important considerations for designing skin microbiome studies, including sampling techniques, which amplicon/region to use for sequencing and key bioinformatic considerations of data generation.

Speed Networking


This session is the ideal opportunity to get face-to-face time with many of the brightest minds working with microbiome-based therapeutics. Benchmark against the industry leaders and establish meaningful business relationships to pursue for the rest of the conference and beyond.

Morning Refreshments

Panel Discussion: Where will the Skin Microbiome need Standardization to Advance Science & Future Products?

  • Curtis Huttenhower Associate Professor, Biostatistics, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
  • Julia Oh Assistant Professor, The Jackson Laboratory
  • Amanda Nelson Assistant Professor, Dermatology, PennState

Skin Microbiome Characterization: Standards, Sequencing, and Bioinformatics


• Learn about the role of bioinformatics in discovery and R&D: 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, microbiome shift analysis and microbial functional analysis

Sequencing Methodologies to Analyse Host-Microbe Interactions & Measure MoA


Introduction and Purpose:

Through the declining cost of high-throughput sequencing technologies over the last decade, scientists have been able to accurately identify and characterize bacterial species that previously could not be cultured or studied using traditional laboratory methodology. Whist the majority of skin microbiome sequencing has been conducted using the 16S rRNA region of bacteria, recent advances into whole genome shotgun have allowed for more accurate definition of bacteria taxa at the strain level, albeit at the cost of more complex data analysis. The purpose of this theme will be to review the current sequencing methodologies used when studying the skin microbiome and understanding the relative advantages/disadvantages at the various methods at the disposal of researchers when publishing information and drawing relevant conclusions.

The Human Skin Microbiome in Health and Disease

  • Huiying Li Associate Professor, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, UCLA


• Strain-level analysis of the skin microbiome is essential in understanding health and disease
• 16S rRNA sequencing and metagenomic shotgun sequencing analysis of the skin microbiome in healthy and disease states
• Transcriptional and metabolic activities of the skin microbiome are distinct in health and disease

Predictive Modelling of Host-Microbe Interactions for the Discovery of New Skin Microbiome Modulators


• Presentation of a comprehensive biological knowledge map of the skin microbiome in relation to host disease.
• This map is created by large-scale systematic analysis of the scientific literature and in-vitro and in-vivo data.
• With a mathematical model build on this map, ~omics data can be analysed in a biological context and new biological modulators of the skin microbiome can be predicted

Lunch & Networking

Panel Discussion: Exploring the Benefits/Negatives of 16S Amplicon Sequencing Versus Whole Genome Sequencing for Translational Microbiome Research?

  • Huiying Li Associate Professor, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, UCLA
  • Brandon Iker Research Scientist and Clinical Investigator, Amway

Metabolites Produced by the Skin Microbiome – By Products


Introduction and Purpose:

Outside of the impacting skin immunity, another interesting way the microbiome interacts with the host is through metabolism of natural products into metabolites that play largely undescribed roles within health and disease. As the ability to investigate the microbiome and it’s creation of metabolites increases, researchers are beginning to understand how these complex components interact to impact health & disease.

Presentation Title to be confirmed

Microbial Metabolites of the Skin Microbiome – Identifying Skin Chemistry to Search for Function

  • Pieter Dorrestein Professor, Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSD

Using the Skin Microbiome as a Therapeutic – Creating Scientifically Validated Drugs that Cure Disease


Introduction and Purpose:

Due to the ongoing relationship between modulations of the skin microbiome and the treatment of disease, translational researchers are developing new strategies to currently target the modulation of the skin microbiome as an alternative therapeutic intervention. The purpose of this theme will be outline the various strategies companies are using to develop viable therapeutics that treat disease.

Engineered “Bugs as Drugs” for the Skin: A Novel Approach for Skin Therapeutics


• Engineered skin commensals that secrete human proteins is a viable therapeutic strategy for skin disease
• Engineered skin commensals are safe and could be enhanced by additional designed safety features
• Regulatory path for engineered commensals (in the US) is straightforward

Rebalancing the Skin Microbiome and Innate Immune System to Improve Skin Health


• Developing a pipeline of commercially viable products for unmet dermatology indications
• Exploring MSB-01, a novel, highly selective topical antimicrobial therapeutic that replaces bacteria that are deficient on the skin of AD patients
• Discussion of clinical studies to advance pipeline

Afternoon Refreshments & Networking

Challenges in Microbiome Therapeutic Development


• Addressing specific and industry-wide challenges that need to be considered when developing a live biologic therapeutic
• Reviewing industry drivers that are accelerating adoption of microbiome therapeutics
• Company challenges with Intellectual Property, manufacturing and regulatory strategy

Using Synthetic Biology To Develop Microbiome-Based Skin Therapetics


• Discussion of correlation versus disease causation when referencing the skin microbiome and inflammatory skin disease
• Benefits of leveraging the skin microbiome as a vehicle for tissue-specific therapy versus systemic therapy- Why is it important we change the way we view skin-disease and strategies for treating them

Precise Manipulations of the Skin Microbiome: ‘Kill & Replace’ Approach to Disease

Comfort Break

End of Day Roundtable Discussions


Introduction and Purpose:

With the size and complexity of harnessing the potential of the microbiome in skin health, there still remains a number of fundamental questions that will allow scientific researchers to forge a successful path in demonstrating causality for a number of disease indications. The purpose of this theme will be to address questions in an informal setting to build a better understanding of this explosive field of research.


Areas of Discussions Include:

Making sense of microbiome data to create breakthrough skin products
Brandon Iker,
Research Scientist and Clinical Investigator, Amway

How to design and execute clinical research in the skin microbiome
Larry Weiss MD, AOBiome

Building a Successful Biotech based on the Skin Microbiome
Emma Taylor, CEO, Naked Biome

Chair’s Closing Remarks

Close of Conference Day One & Evening Drink’s Reception Hosted by The Microbiome Movement