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NHLBI Working Group on the Microbiome in Cardiovascular, Pulmonary and Hematologic Health and Diseases

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NHLBI Working Group on the Microbiome in Cardiovascular, Pulmonary and Hematologic Health and Diseases

June 25 & 26, 2014

Room 9112/9116: 6701 Rockledge Drive, Rockledge 2 Building, Bethesda, MD 20892


The human gut consists of a collection of microorganisms that include many bacterial species the compositions of which are unique to each individual host. This gut microbiome changes in response to diet, medication, age, disease, and other interventions.  The resident microorganisms harbor genes that carry out many important biochemical functions essential to human host. Hence the human gut is home to a large number of microbial genes collectively termed as the ‘metagenome’ that influences host metabolism and physiology in addition to host gene expression. The metagenome facilitates interaction of the gut microbiota with its host through metabolic exchange and co-metabolism of substrates while contributing to diverse host processes.  These include interactions with the innate and adaptive immune systems, participation in lipid metabolism, energy capture through fermentation of non-digestable complex carbohydrates and anerobic metabolism of proteins and peptides for energy harvest.  These interactions are complex and just beginning to be understood and there is growing recognition that discrepancies in such interactions contribute to the etiology of disease.  Further, variations in the gut microbiome are thought to play important roles in maintenance of health and initiation of disease in the mammalian system. Recent observations have demonstrated that in the context of a high fat diet, there is a redistribution of gut microbiota and that this redistribution helps produce metabolites that mediate pathophysiologic conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance and atherosclerosis.  These insights into a relatively unexplored area could provide new opportunities for intervention and therapy for cardiovascular and blood diseases. In contrast to the relatively well characterized gut microbiome, the human body harbors many viruses that have recently gained attention. Many of these viruses are present in the blood and may affect the immune and inflammatory processes.


  • Evaluate the current state of knowledge on the role of microbiome in cardiovascular, pulmonary, or hematologic health and disease outcomes
  •  Assess whether this knowledge can be used to identify the means to modulate the microbiota or its dependent processes to prevent disease and promote health
  • Identify next steps to help move the research forward


The Working Group is designed around thematic areas with short presentations and interactive group discussions. 

New GMCHHD Agenda pdf document (199KB)

Speakers include:

  • Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D – Cleveland Clinic
  • Owen White, Ph.D - University of Maryland
  • Michael Busch, M.D., Ph.D – Blood Systems Research Institute
  • Michael Snyder, Ph.D – Stanford University
  • Eric Delwart, Ph.D – University of California San Francisco
  • Sean Davies, Ph.D – Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Yu Chen, Ph.D., M.P.H. – New York University
  • Steven Deeks, M.D. – University of California San Francisco
  • Frederic Bushman, Ph.D – University of Pennsylvania
  • Ronald Collman, M.D. – University of Pennsylvania
  • Ralph Green, M.D., Ph.D. – University of California Davis Health System
  • Ivan Vujkovic-Cvijin, B.S. – University of California, San Francisco

Registration & Cost

  • Registration is now closed.  Attendees who have not pre-registered may come to the meeting after 9:30 am, and may attend the meeting if space permits.
  • Attendees are responsible for their own travel, lodging and food costs


GMCHHD Directionspdf document (135KB)


For additional information or questions contact Pothur Srinivas, Ph.D., MPH