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Probiotics; Can they play a role in Immune Support?


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Start Date:5/12/2020

Start Time:11:00 AM EDT

Duration:60 minutes


Our immune system is the body’s defense mechanism and is a big concern presently given its huge importance to human health. Science continues to show that perturbations of the microbiome, whether it be gut, lung or elsewhere may play a significant role in the development of disease. Similarly the science is also showing that restoration of the microbiome can help in the healing.

This first of four webinars in the IPA 2020 series will highlight the possible role of probiotics in supporting our immune system.

Probiotics have their place in a supportive or adjunct way and this webinar will shed some light on certain immune support roles in specifically researched applications.


Dr. Samuli Rautava, MD, PhD

Head of Department of Neonatology, Assistant Professor of Neonatology, Adjunct Professor of Experimental Pediatrics
Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, University of Turku

Dr. Samuli Rautava earned his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Turku in Turku, Finland. He has completed his training in pediatrics and neonatology at Turku University Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Rautava’s research training includes a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA. His research focuses on the impact of perinatal and neonatal microbial contact and gut colonization for later health.


Dr. Martin Yvon Desrosiers

Clinical Professor
Université de Montréal

Dr Desrosiers did both medical school and his otolaryngology residency at the University of Montreal. Post-graduate training in nasal diseases at the Johns Hopkins Allergy and Asthma Institute followed his ENT training. He is currently a Clinical professor Université de Montréal and an Associate Clinical Professor at McGill University in Montréal, Canada.

Dr. Desrosiers specializes in nasal and sinus disorders, with special interests in medical management of difficult to treat sinus disease and endoscopic surgery of the paranasal sinuses and skull base. Current research focuses are interactions of the microbiome and immunoregulation of the sinus mucosa, host genetics and biomarkers in sinusitis, and endoscopic skull base surgery.

Dr Desrosiers is an internationally recognized expert in the field of chronic sinusitis. Previous efforts from this group have been seminal in demonstrating the functional link between bacterial biofilms and chronic sinusitis, leading to the identification of bacterial biofilms as an important therapeutic target and fostering the current development of several varied anti-biofilm strategies. The current ongoing research efforts in genetics and biomarkers of CRS have offered a new appreciation of different phenotypes in sinus disease and suggested new applications for extant medications. Implications of the microbiome research have led to the development of a topical probiotic formulation for the sinuses currently undergoing clinical trials.

The continued involvement of Dr Desrosiers with the clinical management of CRS patients ensures continued consideration of the results of the studies into clinically relevant concepts and translational research of these effects in a human population.

Nicholas West, PhD

Senior Research Fellow
Menzies Health Institute QLD, Griffith University

Nicholas West is a Senior Research Fellow in the Mucosal Immunology Research Group at the Menzies Health Institute QLD, Griffith University. The focus of his research is inflammatory regulation and the microbiome. He has conducted a number of clinical research projects investigating the use of gut health supplements, including probiotics, prebiotics and resistant starch for respiratory and gastrointestinal health and immune function. He currently leads the Systems Biology and Data Science Shared Research Facility with projects in obesity and metabolic syndrome, immunotherapy, respiratory health in elite athletes and allergy and oncology.

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