Biological Psychiatry Australia Plenary Speaker:

Professor John Cryan,
Department of  Anatomy & Neuroscience,
University College Cork

Title: “Gut Feelings: Microbiome as Key Regulator of Brain & Behaviour Across the Lifespan”


We are living in a microbial world and there has never been a time across evolution when the brain existed without signals from the gut microbiota. Thus, the microbiota-gut-brain axis is emerging as a research area of increasing interest for those investigating the biological and physiological basis of brain disorders. The routes of communication between the gut and brain include the vagus nerve, the immune system, tryptophan metabolism, via the enteric nervous system or via  microbial metabolites such as short chain fatty acids. These mechanisms also impinge on neuroendocrine function at multiple levels. Studies in animal models have been key in delineating that neurodevelopment and the programming of an appropriate stress response is dependent on the microbiota. Developmentally, a variety of factors can impact the microbiota in early life including mode of birth delivery, antibiotic exposure, mode of nutritional provision, infection, stress as well as host genetics.   Stress can significantly impact the microbiota-gut-brain axis at all stages across the lifespan. Recently, the gut microbiota has been implicated in a variety of conditions including obesity, autism, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. Moreover, animal models have been key in linking  the regulation of fundamental brain processes ranging from adult hippocampal neurogenesis to myelination to microglia activation by the microbiome. Finally, studies examining the translation of these effects from animals to humans are currently ongoing. Further studies will focus on understanding the mechanisms underlying such brain effects and developing nutritional and microbial-based intervention strategies.


About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

Seminars in the QBI Auditorium on Level 7 are held on Wednesdays at 12-1pm, which are sometimes simulcast on Zoom (with approval from the speaker). We also occassionally hold seminars from international speakers via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018