Whistler Center May 11, 2011 Technical Conference

Dates: May 11, 2011

Whistler Center May 11, 2011 Technical Conference Agenda and Speaker Information

8:30 a.m. - 9:20 a.m. Dr. Geoff Fincher, Belfort Lecturer (Director, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, University of Adelaide, Australia) "Fine structure of polysaccharides from plant cell walls: from human health to biofuel production"

9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Dr. Ali Keshavarzian (Director, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois) "Gut health in healthy and disease states"

10:25 a.m. - 10:55 a.m. Dr. Eric Martens (Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School) "Degradation of starch and other dietary glycans by human gut Bacteroidetes"

11:05 a.m. - 11:35 a.m. Dr. Bruce Hamaker and Haidi Xu (Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research) "Improved colon function of arabinoxylans based on fine structure"

11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Dr. Osvaldo Campanella and Madhuvanti Kale (Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research) "Arabinoxylan structure and functionality"

Dr. Geoff Fincher received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Melbourne, and is the Professor of Plant Science at the University of Adelaide and the Director of the newly established Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls. The CoE has additional nodes at the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland, together with several overseas partner organizations (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/plant-cell-walls/). Dr. Fincher is also the leader of a new CSIRO Food Futures Flagship Cluster on 'High Fibre Grain". He was Director, Waite Agricultural Research Institute and Deputy CEO, Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (2003-2010); Director, GRDC Program on Functional Genomics in the Growth and End-use Quality of Cereals (2000-2004); Deputy Dean, Faculty of Sciences (2002-2003); Professor of Plant Science, University of Adelaide, Head of Department of Plant Science (1993-2011)

Dr. Ali Keshavarzian graduated from medical school in 1976 from Tehran University in Iran. He did post-graduate training in London and started his faculty position in 1986 at Loyola University. He is currently the Josephine M. Dyrenforth Chair of Gastroenterology, Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, Molecular Biophysics & Physiology at Rush University Medical School. He is also Director, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition and Vice Chairman of Medicine for Academic and Research Affairs. He is a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians [UK], fellow of the American College of Physicians, Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and fellow of American Gastroenterology Association. He has published 220 peer-reviewed articles and his research work has been funded by NIH since 1986. He is a clinician scientist with interest in regulation of intestinal barrier function, mechanism of gut leakiness in disease states like inflammatory bowel disease and alcoholism, and interaction of microbiota with intestinal epithelial cell and mucosal immune systems. He employs a translational research approach using in vitro cell models, in vivo animal models, and human studies to investigate the effects of environmental factors such as diet, alcohol, sleep pattern and circadian rhythm on intestinal barrier function, bacteria composition and endotoxemia in healthy and disease states. His goal is to identify therapeutic targets to prevent and treat gut leakiness and its consequences like endotoxemia and associated inflammatory pathologies.

Dr. Eric Martens is Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Martens obtained his B.A. (1997) from Washington University in St. Louis and his Ph.D. (2005) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Martens began investigating the mechanisms through which human gut bacteria digest diet- and host derived glycans during his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Jeffrey Gordon at Washington University School of Medicine. He continues to pursue this work at the University of Michigan with a focus on the Bacteroidetes, one of two numerically dominant phyla of human gut bacteria that are particularly adept at polysaccharide degradation. Current projects in Dr. Martens' laboratory are to identify the molecular function of the Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron starch-utilization system (Sus): a cell surface-associated multi-protein complex involved in binding and degrading starch. Work in B. thetaiotaomicron and other related symbionts has identified dozens of related "Sus-like systems", each of which is composed of glycan degrading enzymes, binding proteins and saccharide transporters, that are involved in degrading nearly the entire repertoire of glycans that are found in plant and animal tissue.

Dr. Bruce Hamaker is director of the Whistler Center of Carbohydrate Research and holds the Roy L. Whistler Chair Professor in Carbohydrate Science in the Department of Food Science at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. He obtained his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Indiana University and afterwards went into the US Peace Corps in West Africa. His graduate studies are in Human Nutrition (M.S.) and Food Chemistry (Ph.D.) from Purdue University and was a post-doctoral researcher at the Nutrition Research Institute in Lima, PerĂº. His research career has spanned many aspects of cereal component chemistry and its applications, though now focuses primarily on cereal carbohydrates related to topics of health and wellness.

Dr. Osvaldo Campanella arrived at Purdue University in 1999 from a faculty position at Massey University in New Zealand. He received his Ph.D. at University of Massachusetts un Prof. Micha Peleg. He was promoted to Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering in 2005, and was made a University Faculty Scholar in 2007. He is well known for his work on rheology of food systems, new measuring methods, and mathematical modeling of rheological phenomenon.