PROGRAM Information

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of gastroenterologists and other healthcare providers involved in the care of patients with common GI disorders such as IBS, IBD, and C. difficile infection.

Educational Objectives

After completing this program, participants should be better able to:

Discuss evolving concepts regarding the role of the gut microbiome in GI health and disease

Describe current research advances in understanding the composition and function of the gut microbiome

Discuss how modification of the gut microbiome is becoming a therapeutic strategy in common GI diseases such as IBS, IBD, and C. difficile infection

Provided by Gi Health Foundation

This program is not affiliated with Digestive Disease Week®.
Supported by educational grants from Synthetic Biologics, Inc. and Commonwealth Diagnostics International, Inc.

For more information, email us at, or call 1-877-782-4532.




University of Newcastle, Australia
Callaghan, Australia


Washington University
School of Medicine
Saint Louis, Missouri


University of California
at San Diego
La Jolla, California


Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, California


Introduction Nicholas J. Talley, MD

The Gut Microbiome and Functional
GI Disorders Mark Pimentel, MD

The Gut Microbiome and C. difficile Erik R. Dubberke, MD

Special Report/Panel Discussion/
Extended Q&A

Closing Remarks

Nicholas J. Talley, MBBS (Hons), MMedSci, MD, PhD
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Global Research
Professor of Medicine
University of Newcastle, Australia
Callaghan, Australia

Nicholas J. Talley, MD, is currently pro vice-chancellor of Global Research at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He is an expert clinician, educator, and researcher, with extensive experience as a leader in the medical and university sectors. He previously served as pro vice-chancellor (and dean) of the Faculty of Health and Medicine at the University of Newcastle from 2010 to 2015, and was seconded as deputy vice-chancellor of research (acting) at the University of Newcastle from June 2013 to March 2014.

Professor Talley has published over 1,000 original and review articles in peer-reviewed literature, and is considered one of the world’s most influential clinician-researchers (H index 116, Scopus). He is also a leading medical educator and the author of the highly regarded textbooks Clinical Examination and Examination Medicine. In June 2014, Professor Talley was inaugurated as one of the first 15 fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (FAHMS) and was elected to the Academy Council Executive.

In 2016, Professor Talley accepted a role as editor-in-chief of the Medical Journal of Australia, after stepping down from his role as co-editor-in-chief of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics after six years. He has completed two three-year terms (the maximum permitted) as co-editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology (with 12 years of consecutive international editing experience to date). These journals thrived under his leadership, and he substantially increased their impact (and impact factor) and readership. Professor Talley also serves on a number of prominent boards and is a section editor for UpToDate, a management tool widely used by clinicians globally.

Professor Talley was formerly chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was professor of medicine and professor of epidemiology. He was also the Foundation Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney, Nepean Clinical School, for nearly a decade.

Professor Talley is a senior staff specialist and gastroenterologist at John Hunter Hospital and attends clinics and lists on a weekly basis. He holds adjunct research appointments as a professor at the Mayo Clinic, the University of North Carolina, and the Karolinska Institute. He is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (and past president), the Royal College of Physicians (both London and Edinburgh), the American College of Physicians, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Gastroenterological Association.

Other awards Professor Talley has received include the Rome Foundation Research Award, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Distinguished Educator Award, the Newcastle Innovation Excellence in Innovation Award, the NSW Excellence in Biological Sciences (Cell and Molecular, Medical and Veterinary and Genetics) Premier's Prize, and the Distinguished Researcher Prize of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia.


Grants/Research Support:  Abbott, Commonwealth Diagnostics International, Inc., Janssen Biotech, Inc., Pfizer Inc., Prometheus Laboratories Inc., Rome Foundation, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Consultant/Speakers' Bureau/Editorial Board Involvement:  Adelphi Values (functional dyspepsia working group to develop a symptom-based PRO instrument), Allergan plc (GI development programs), GI Therapies (noninvasive device company, consultant and options), Yuhan Corporation (IBS)

Erik R. Dubberke, MD, MSPH
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Section of Transplant Infectious Diseases
Washington University School of Medicine
Saint Louis, Missouri

Erik R. Dubberke, MD, is an associate professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he has been a faculty member in the Division of Infectious Diseases since 2005. He is also an associate hospital epidemiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, medical director of infection control at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, and director of the Section of Transplant Infectious Diseases at Washington University. He attended medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and did his medicine and infectious diseases training at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University. He received his MSPH from St. Louis University.

Dr. Dubberke's main research interests lie in the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). He has authored over 110 publications, and made the Thomson Reuters list of Highly Cited Researchers in 2015 and 2016. Dr. Dubberke also assisted in writing the CDI component of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America's (SHEA) Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals, and is on the panel updating the SHEA/IDSA CDI clinical guidelines. He has also represented SHEA as a Key Informant for the AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Center C. difficile review, and at the US Department of Health and Human Services Road Map to Eliminate HAI 2013 Action Plan Conference.


Advisory Board:  Rebiotix Inc. and Merck & Co., Inc.

Consultant:  Valneva SE, Sanofi Pasteur Inc, Merck & Co., Inc. and Pfizer

Grant Recipient:  Rebiotix Inc. and Sanofi Pasteur Inc.

Rob Knight, PhD
University of California at San Diego
La Jolla, California

Rob Knight is the faculty director at the Center for Microbiome Innovation, an agile center in the Jacobs School of Engineering, with the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Division of Biological Sciences as founding partners, and is a professor in UC San Diego’s Department of Pediatrics and Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Before that, he was professor of chemistry and biochemistry and computer science at the Biofrontiers Institute of the University of Colorado Boulder, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute early career scientist. Dr. Knight is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology.

In 2015 Dr. Knight received the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in the Life Sciences. He is the author of Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes (Simon & Schuster, 2015), and spoke at TED in 2014. His lab has produced many of the software tools and laboratory techniques that have enabled high-throughput microbiome science, including the QIIME pipeline (cited over 5,000 times as of this writing) and UniFrac (cited over 3,000 times, including its web interface). He is co-founder of the Earth Microbiome Project, the American Gut Project, and the company Biota, which uses DNA from microbes in the earth’s subsurface to guide oil-field decisions. Dr. Knight’s work has linked microbes to a range of health conditions, including obesity and inflammatory bowel disease, and has enhanced our understanding of microbes in environments ranging from the oceans to the tundra, as well as made high-throughput sequencing techniques accessible to thousands of researchers around the world.


Consultant/Speakers' Bureau:  Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.

Advisory Board Membership:  Biota, Commense Inc., Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Human Microbiome Institute, Prometheus Laboratories Inc.

Stockholder:  Biota

Mark Pimentel, MD, FRCP(C)
Professor of Medicine, UCLA
Director, GI Motility Program
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, California

Mark Pimentel, MD, FRCP(C), is an associate professor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He completed three years of his undergraduate degree with honors in microbiology and biochemistry at the University of Manitoba, Canada. Dr. Pimentel received his medical degree and his BSc (Med) from the University of Manitoba Health Sciences Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where he also completed a residency in internal medicine.

Dr. Pimentel's medical training includes a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Affiliated Training Program. Active in research, Dr. Pimentel has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator for numerous basic science, translational, and clinical studies on irritable bowel syndrome and the relationship between gut flora composition and human disease.

Dr. Pimentel is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine (Gastroenterology) and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is also a member of several medical associations, including the American Gastroenterological Association, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society.

His work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, the American Journal of Physiology, The American Journal of Medicine, the American Journal of Gastroenterology, and Digestive Diseases and Sciences, among others. Dr. Pimentel has been invited to present his work at meetings, grand rounds, and advisory boards in the United States and internationally.


Grants/Research Support:  Commonwealth Laboratories, LLC, Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc.,
Synthetic Biologics, Inc.

Consultant/Speakers' Bureau:  Commonwealth Laboratories, LLC, Naia Pharmaceuticals, Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc., Synthetic Biologics, Inc.

Advisory Board Membership:  Commonwealth Laboratories, LLC, Naia Pharmaceuticals, Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc., Synthetic Biologics, Inc.

Stockholder:  Naia Pharmaceuticals, Synthetic Biologics, Inc.

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