Join us for the Inaugural Forsyth Symposium Featuring the Uncultivable Bacteria

Cultured TM7 bacterium oral taxon 488, strain TM7x, infecting Actinomyces odontolyticus, strain XH001. Image by Pallavi Murugkar and Felicitas Bidlack
  • Monday, March 19, 2018
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Join us for our inaugural Forsyth Symposium on October 11-12, 2018. This year's symposium will feature "The Uncultivable Bacteria" and include posters sessions, a workshop and talks from Forsyth faculty and guest speakers such as Dr. Jill Banfield of the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Angela Douglas of Cornell University, Dr. Jeffrey Scott McLean of the University of Washington, Dr. Stephen Giovannoni of Oregon State University and Dr. William Wade of King's College London Dental School. The workshop held on day two will use Forsyth's research facility as a platform to provide hands-on laboratory experience to interested investigators and postdocs in isolating and characterizing candidate phyla radiation organisms. The workshop demonstration will be open to all, however we are considering active participation for a restricted number of symposium attendees. Please indicate in the registration form below whether you would be interested in participating in this workshop.

The Uncultivable Bacteria

The cultivation of every microbe in every environment has been the goal of microbiologists for the past 150 years, and the goal of investigators studying the human microbiome for the past 10 years. In some environments, like soil and sea seawater, only a few percent of the prokaryotes present have been cultured. However, in the host-associated human oral cavity, more than 70% of the approximately 700 species present have been cultured axenically (with significant contributions by scientists at Forsyth). Understanding the reasons why many microbes remain uncultured (“uncultivable” using standard methods) is a basic biological problem that is inhibiting progress in many fields including medicine, environmental microbiology, biotechnology and energy development. The Candidate Phyla Radiation bacteria represent a significant fraction of microbial diversity on earth, but no members of this clade had been cultured until the recent success with human oral Saccharibacteria (TM7) species, achieved by scientists at Forsyth. The goals of this year’s symposium are to examine the reasons or mechanisms bacteria are “uncultivable” using known standard culture methods to describe conceptual breakthroughs that have allowed cultivation of several Saccharibacteria species, to examine their biology, and to compare their parasitic lifestyle to that of other parasitic microbes including phage. 

Schedule and Registration

The Symposium will be held at Forsyth Institute, 245 First Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts on Thursday, October 11 (8:30am - 8:00pm) and Friday, October 12 (8:30am - 12pm).

Registration is free, but seating is limited so please register to attend below. Online streaming of the talks will be hosted on Forsyth's Facebook page.