The Gut-Brain Connection

20sep19:45The Gut-Brain ConnectionScience cafe Wageningen


We are excited to announce the first Science Café session of the new academic year on 20
September. Have you ever wondered why we say ‘going with my gut’ or ‘my gut feeling tells
me…’? Turns out that there is an intricate connection between our gut and our brain. In our
session, we will therefore take a look inside our bodies and go on the fascinating journey from
our guts to our brain. We invited two speakers who are experts on the complex understanding
about what we eat, how that affects our gut microbiome and, in turn, can change the way our
brain works.
Professor Michiel Kleerebezem from Wageningen University will kick the evening off by
introducing us to the topic of the gut microbiome, how food affects it and what pathways may
exist between the gut and the brain. Professor Esther Aarts from Radboud University will
guide us further on the journey to various ways how changes to our gut can affect stress levels
or depression. We will then have time to discuss with them about what we know and do not
know yet about the gut-brain-connection. How can your food intake prevent and mitigate
stress? Can and should we alter the microbiome composition of our gut to treat psychological
or neurological illnesses?

Prof. Dr. Michiel Kleerebezem (WUR) worked at NIZO food research as a principal
scientist from 1995 to 2015. Since 2007 he has held a position as professor of “Bacterial
Metagenomics and Host Microbe Interactions” at the Host Microbe Interactomics Group of
Wageningen University. His expertise centers around the genomics, molecular biology and
physiology of bacteria, with a special focus on lactic acid bacteria, probiotics, and the human
(intestinal) microbiota.
Prof. Dr. Esther Aarts (Radboud) is a Principal Investigator at the Donders Institute for
Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, heading the Food & Cognition research group at the Centre
for Cognitive Neuroimaging. Her research focuses on neural mechanisms of eating behavior
as well as how the foods we consume impact our brain functioning. Many effects of diet on
neuro-cognition happen through the gut microbiome and immune system. She and her group
are studying these links particularly in relation to dopamine-related brain functions such as
motivational and cognitive control.


(Woensdag) 19:45(GMT+02:00)

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