It is known that diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome are the result of gene/environment interactions but a newly recognized component of the gene/environment interaction is the gut microbiome. In the Keynote presentation, “The Gut Microbiome as a Modifier of Insulin Resistance and Metabolic Syndrome,” Dr. Ronald Kahn will discuss results of his research in mice which have shown that given different diets, different mice adapt with different microbiomes, some of which are more or less likely to produce insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. Thus, the microbiome interacts with the genetics of the mouse, and by shifting the microbiome, a mouse genetically at the borderline of becoming insulin resistant, for example, may become less insulin resistant. Dr. Kahn will explain how the gut microbiome is an important mediator of the gene/environment interaction, some of the mechanisms by which the gut microbiome works, and ultimately what the implications are in terms of how we treat patients.

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