Kenneth Croitoru, MDCM FRCP(C)

Dr. Kenneth Croitoru is a Gastroenterologist specializing in IBD and a Clinician-Scientist in the Department of Medicine, Luenefeld Tannenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto), and a Professor of Medicine and Immunology at the University of Toronto. To date, he has over 100 scientific publications with more than 4500 citations.

After completing his medical training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at McGill University, Croitoru did post-doctoral work with Dr. John Bienenstock at McMaster University, and then joined the Division of Gastroenterology at McMaster in 1992, serving as Training Program Director and Associate Director of the Division. He served as the Chair of the CCFC Medical Advisory Board and helped develop the CCFC IBD Research Institute, and he served as Chair of the Executive Committee until 2008.

Croitoru’s research is focused on IBD: investigating how intestinal inflammation occurs, especially the role of T cell effector and regulatory function in the gut mucosa. His work aims to understand how T cells maintain intestinal homeostasis in health, and the problems in regulatory T cells that allow for the breakdown of these mechanisms. Croitoru is also project leader of the CCC GEM Project ( a multi-million-dollar prospective cohort study of individuals who are at risk of developing Crohn’s disease. The project explores the genetic, environmental, and microbial factors contributing to Crohn’s disease.

Curtis Huttenhower, PhD

Dr. Curtis Huttenhower is a Professor of Biostatistics and Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an Associate Member at the Broad Institute. His lab works broadly on understanding microbial community function, particularly that of the human microbiome in public health, as well as on developing new computational methods for host-microbial systems biology. He participated extensively in the NIH Human Microbiome Project and co-leads the “HMP2” Center for Characterizing the gut microbial ecosystem in IBD. He directs the HSPH Microbiome Analysis Core (HMAC), led the Microbiome Quality Control Project, and the NIDDK Human Microbiome Bioinformatics Resource.

His lab focuses on computational methods for functional analysis of microbial communities. This includes systems biology reconstructions integrating metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, and other microbial community ‘omics, the human microbiome in autoimmune disease such as IBD, and its potential as a biomarker and route for therapeutic intervention. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2009, the NSF Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2011, and the ISCB Overton Prize in 2015.

Samuel Miller, MD

Samuel Miller, MD is a Professor of Medicine, Microbiology, Immunology and Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. His laboratory is focused on defining the molecular basis of bacterial pathogenesis and interactions with eukaryotic cells, with a special emphasis on innate immune response to Gram-negative bacteria.  Dr. Miller’s important contributions include: defining how Salmonella senses antimicrobial peptides and pH to promote pathogenesis, environmental regulation of Lipid A structure of Gram-negative bacteria to promote resistance to antimicrobial peptides and alter recognition by mammalian LPS receptor complex, and recently, the development of technology to define human diversity in innate immune recognition of bacteria, and a development of a biosensor for c-di-GMP to visualize second messenger dynamics in living bacteria. In the last five years Dr. Miller has turned his attention to the development of methods and analysis pipelines to translate metagenomics of the intestinal microbiome for clinical applications in a variety of chronic diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and cystic fibrosis.

Janet Jansson, PhD

A microbial ecologist with more than 30 years’ experience in the field, Dr. Janet Jansson is Chief Scientist for Biology in the Biological Sciences Division and a Laboratory Fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Jansson has authored over 160 publications, and is the editor of three books on microbiology and microbial ecology. She serves on the Executive Board of the International Society for Microbiology (ISME) and on numerous advisory panels, including the National Academy of Science Committee on Science Breakthroughs for Food and Agriculture by 2030. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Washington State Academy of Science.

Jansson studied soil microbiology at Colorado State University and earned her Ph.D. in Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University. Subsequently, Jansson was Professor, Chair of Environmental Microbiology, and Vice Dean at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; she has also held positions as senior staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley and at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jansson’s lab specializes in molecular approaches (‘omics) to study complex microbial communities: mainly, those in the natural environment and in the human gut. She studies the impact of climate change on microbial communities in prairie and arctic ecosystems—including how warming changes permafrost soil microbiomes and how drought changes grassland soils. Another arm of research focuses on the human microbiome: the impacts of diet, host genetics and inflammatory bowel disease on gut microbial functions. She currently leads the PNNL Microbiomes in Transition (MinT) research initiative, which takes a multidisciplinary approach to determining how microbiomes are impacted by perturbations such as climate change, and how environmental exposures impact the human microbiome.