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Microbes and Social Equity Symposium 2021 Session 4: “Social and Environmental Stress”

June 17 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

Section leader: Patricia Wolf

While it has been established that human behavior may impact microbiome structure, it has become evident that this is only part of the story. Historically racist housing policies may lead to inequitable exposure of those living in segregated neighborhoods to environmental pollutants. Additionally, life-long exposure to social and environmental stress faced by minority groups within the US may increase risk to disease through the alteration of host and bacterial metabolites. These inequities were compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which neighborhood structural environments led to differing access to healthcare and treatment for the disease. Notably, those with the least access often were subject to higher exposure to the disease due to having “essential” employment. This session will explore the social and environmental factors that can impact human microbiomes, and will discuss measures that investigators should incorporate into research in order to fully understand microbial mechanisms of disease.

Session speakers:

Lisa Tussing-Humphreys, PhD., M.S., M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and Director, UI Cancer Center’s Diet and Behavior Shared Resource.

Ariangela Kozik, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Michigan, and the Co-founder and Vice President of the Black Microbiologists Association

“The urban wastewater microbiome”

Monica Trujillo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, of Biology Queensborough Community College, The City University of New York

Prior to this session, you may want to watch these recorded talks:

  • “Connecting environmental microbiomes to social (in)equity across temporal and ecological scales”, Dr. Erin Eggleston and Dr. Mallory Choudoir. March 3, 2021.
  • “Embodied microbiomes: a 4E-cognition perspective on microbial life and social equity”, Dr. Francisco Parada Flores, PhD. March 24, 2021.
  • “Investigating social determinates of health and social equity among Veterans; a United States-Veteran Microbiome Project”, LTC. Andrew J. Hoisington, Ph.D. April 14, 2021.

Register for this session