Post-Conference Workshop Wednesday June 26 2019

Workshop                                                                                          9.00am - 12.00pm

Regulation of Colon Inflammation by Regulatory T-Cells, Microbiota & Bile Acid Metabolism

Bacterial metabolism of bile acids is mechanistically linked to genotoxic and inflammatory process that predispose to IBD and colorectal cancer (CRC). Bile acid metabolizing bacteria are also responsible for the extrathymic generation of regulatory T-cells, the rate limiting factors in the control of colon inflammation. Deregulation of inflammation involves epigenetic and gene expression changes that take place in gut infiltrating regulating T-cells. Understanding the interface of gut microbiota and Treg function in the gut will critically help in designing effective preventive and therapeutic strategies.

Join these experts as they present in detail on:

• Treg diversity and function in colon cancer
• Molecular pathways that regulate Treg functions and Treg/Th17 balance
• Microbial sulfur metabolism and colorectal cancer risk
• Genetics of bile acid metabolism and colorectal cancer risk

Workshop Leaders


Khashayarsha Khazie
Professor of Immunology
Mayo Clinic

Khashayarsha Khazaie, Ph.D., D.Sc., directs basic and translational research in cancer immunology and immunosenescence. Dr. Khazaie’s lab studies immune responses that help tumors grow and spread as well as immune responses that protect against cancer. A major focus is on regulatory T cells (Tregs), their subsets, and their diverse functions in regulating inflammation and immunity in the gastrointestinal tract. In this context, there is interest in the role of microbiota and circadian rhythm.

Rex Gaskins

Rex Gaskins
University of Illinois at
Urbana Champaign

Rex Gaskins’ laboratory focuses on hostintestinal microbe interactions relevant to colorectal cancer with a particular interest in microbial sulfur and hydrogen metabolism. Efforts to understand colonic mucosal responses to hydrogen sulfide led to further interest in redox regulation of tumorigenesis resulting in a long-time collaboration with bioengineering faculty at Illinois to create genetically-encoded biosensors and engineered platforms for the study of redox poise in subcellular compartments in live cells. Professor Gaskins has authored 156 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and has won numerous awards including a Future Leaders Award from the International Life Sciences Institute, the Bio-Serv Award from the American Society of Nutrition, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund visiting scientist fellowship (University of Reading), and a Sir Frederick McMaster CSIRO Research Fellowship (University of Queensland).


Fotini Gounari
Associate Professor,
Department of Medicine
The University of

Dr. Fotini Gounari Ph.D. is a molecular immunologist and an expert in thymic development and mucosal immunity. Her areas of research are T-cell/regulatory T-cell development and function. Her studies focus on the Wnt/b-catenin signaling in T-lymphocytes and the interface of this pathway with gut microbiota and their metabolites. Dr. Gounari aims to identify key molecular pathways that are deregulated in chronic inflammation and cancer. Identification of such pathways will elucidate the molecular etiology of autoimmune diseases and cancer, and holds the promise to lead to effective immune therapies.

Jason Ridlon

Jason Ridlon
Assistant Professor
University of Illinois at
Urbana Champaign

Jason Ridlon’s laboratory focuses on the human gut “sterolbiome”, the collective genes involved in biotransformation of bile acids, glucocorticoids, and pharmaceutical steroids. His laboratory studies sterolbiome genes and enzymes in several model systems including germ-free mice and chickens, mini-bioreactors, and human clinical samples. His lab utilizes transcriptomics, metagenomics, enzymology and structural biology to study the sterolbiome at multiple levels with the
goal to modulate the steroid and bile acid metabolome and generate specific inhibitors of sterolbiome targets to accomplish this, with the long-term goal of treating human disease and improving animal production.