Microbe World: Microbiomes and Health HA 2023

Course Available in: Sao Paulo, LIma, and santiago

Microbiome and the Future of Personalized and Precision Medicine

We are all composite organisms—collaborations between our own cells and those of millions of microorganisms that live within and upon us. Microbes are both our fiercest foes and greatest friends, playing critical roles in nutrition, disease prevention, and mental health. New technologies are revealing important details about how microbiomes function and providing exciting tools for managing them. In this hands-on course students will learn tools for studying and manipulating microbiomes. We will use microscopes to observe and identify microorganisms from diverse habitats—from seawater to our own bodies. We will collect environmental samples and use them to grow bacteria and fungi for experimentation. We will learn how our laboratory skills can be applied in research and clinical settings to manage microbiomes—such as in designing probiotics, phage therapy, and gene editing. The course will feature a capstone project in which students will work in small groups to design and perform experiments of their own. Projects will investigate how our decisions shape our microbiomes and how we are exposed to microorganisms in our lives. By taking this course students will develop skills to excel in careers in microbiome medicine and research.

January 16 – 27, 2023 (Monday to Friday)

From 9:00 am to 3:30 pm

In-person in your country

Asa Conover

UC Berkeley & USC

Asa is a PhD student at UC Berkeley researching microbiomes. His works helps understand how microbiomes form, the roles they play in plant health, and how we can use plants to advance human microbiome medicine. Asa received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Southern California. He has been employed for research work by Harvard, Yale, the Okinawa Institute for Science and Technology, and others. Asa has worked with a variety of organisms, including lizards, fungi, cyanobacteria, and humans. He has international experience in research and teaching—including in Madagascar, South Africa, and Japan. Asa has worked as a writing teacher and science mentor and currently teaches research techniques to middle school students in Berkeley. When not working, Asa likes to surf, draw cartoons, and hunt for mushrooms.