Research on IBS the focus of Cork conference

Innovative research into irritable bowel syndrome, a condition which causes agonising pain to thousands of sufferers, will be presented at a prestigious international conference in Cork this week.

The NeuroGastro 2017 conference brings together leading experts in the field from around the world. It is the first time Ireland has hosted the event.

More than 460 delegates will hear details of pioneering research into IBS, which affects one in 10 people and can cause crippling abdominal pain.

The latest developments in the diagnosis and treatment of this complex and very prevalent stress-related disorder will be discussed.

The roles played by stress and by gut bacteria in the pain experienced by many IBS sufferers will be detailed by UCC professor John Cryan. The conference is hosted at UCC by the APC Microbiome Institute on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

NeuroGastro 2017 delegates will also hear how gut bacteria may potentially be used to treat gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS.

The conference coincides with the publication next Friday, in the scientific journal Microbiome, of new research from the APC Microbiome Institute in UCC, whose findings reveal a new role for gut bacteria in regions of the brain associated with anxiety.

The two-day symposium is expected to provide a forum for discussion of the latest research, in the company of leading investigators in the field.

“More than 460 delegates will attend the conference and satellite meetings from more than 40 countries across all continents,” said institute spokesperson Dr Catherine Buckley.

Speakers, she added, would include leading international experts such as Professor Jan Tack of the Rome Foundation and University Hospital KU Leuven, and Dr Kirsteen Browning from Penn State University, along with speakers from Columbia University in New York and the University of Nevada in Reno, Houston, Texas.

“This is in addition to a packed programme of the latest research in neurogastroenterology and motility discussed in more than 60 oral and 200 poster presentations across the three days of the meeting.”

“Key opinion leaders will discuss the latest cutting-edge research in this field,” said Dr Gerard Clarke of the APC Microbiome Institute, who added that “the high quality of the research conducted by the Cork facility was “the beacon” that helped attract this high-level conference to Ireland for the first time.

Over the last decade, the APC Microbiome Institute has established itself as one of the leading global centres in research into gut bacteria, making a series of landmark discoveries and publishing more than 1,000 research articles. The institute was formed in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland and in conjunction with key industry partners.
It is a collaboration between University College Cork, Teagasc, and Cork Institute of Technology.

Gut microbiota plays an important role in human health and has become one of the most dynamic areas of research in both food and pharmaceutical arenas.


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