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Midway Stakeholder Symposium

1st November 2023Organized by the University of Copenhagen and EMBL-EBI Hinxton| #MSS2023

Key Themes

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Understanding host microbiomes interactions

Over the past two decades, human microbiome research has undergone rapid growth. Advances in metagenomics, transcriptomics and other molecular techniques help in understanding interactions between the hosts' biological processes and their microbiota. It is crucial that we better understand microbiota communities whose biological activity directly impact health and human susceptibility to disease, and can facilitate the development of innovative solutions across food, feed and health products.

Pillar 1: explores current approaches that can help us better understand these symbiotic relationships, identifies theoretical and methodological challenges, and proposes directions for future research in the field.

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Using genomics to treat disease and improve health 

Many industries, government and research organizations have spent large sums funding research of human microbiome as causes of, or possible therapeutic solutions to various diseases.
Advances in genome mapping and sequencing, technologies, computational methods, biological insight and clinical applications help researchers integrate genomics into biomedical research and medical practice.

Pillar 2: examines the scope, scale and pace of cutting-edge genomic advances in health, health products and disease treatment; future research priorities and  opportunities for human genomics in clinical care.

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Multi-omics approaches are infiltrating food systems

Food systems evolve to meet societal changes. Large microbiome research funding over the last decade, has increased national and global projects, including microbiomes use to improve food production and animal welfare. 
Combining accepted crop science approaches (e.g metabolomics) with a new generation of omics (e.g genomics) strengthen innovation that can profile the makeup of commercial crops; understand the implications of foods in humans, on a molecular level, and more.

Pillar 3: provides a look at penetration and future direction of multi-omics in food systems and agriculture, spanning the implementation of microbial solutions in food systems, use of microbial additives in bio-based industries, to predictors for crop yield, and sustainable and ethical food production parameters.

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Enhancing biological insight with computational solutions

Multi-omics approaches are creating a 'tsunami' of large data that can be utilized to understand the biology of phenotypes. This requires however, the development of new methods to integrate omics data into suitable statistical and mathematical frameworks that can illustrate functional mechanisms behind crucial genotype-phenotype associations. 

Pillar 4: explores the current state of mechanistic models linking metagenomic variation to phenotypic
variation; highlights reliable resources to generate big data sets of metagenomic sequencing; applies state-of-the-art metagenomicist computational toolboxes to multi-omics analyses, FAIR research and best practice.


  • 9:00 - 9:20 am   Registration opens and welcome snacks 
  • 9:20 - 9:30 am  Symposium Opening: Rob Finn (EMBL) & Morten Limborg (UCPH)
  • 9:30 - 9:45 Introduction to FindingPheno: Shyam Gopalakrishnan (UCPH)
  • 9:55 - 10:15 TBDPillar 1 Guest Speaker, Maria Elena Martino (introduction: Shyam Gopalakrishnan)
  • 10:20 - 10:40 Charting a metagenomic atlas of the uncultured microbiome in health and disease - Pillar 2 Guest Speaker, Alexandre Almeida (introduction: Rob Finn)
  • 10:40 - 10:55 MID-MORNING TEA 
  •  11:00 - 11:20 "Designer fiber" for the precise manipulation of animal gut microbiomes - Pillar 3 Guest Speaker, Sabina Leanti La Rosa (introduction: Dylan Feldner)
  • 11:25 - 11:45 Decoding the Microbiome: Navigating Complex Networks with Eagle Genomics - Pillar 4 Guest Speakers, Christian Roghi and Alex Mitchell (introduction Jan Andersen)
  • 11:50 - 12:45 Panel Discussion with all guest speakers: Rob Finn (Moderator)
  • 13:00 - 14:00 LUNCH
  • 14:05 - 15.00 Team Brainstorming: Challenges & future needs; best practices; points of action
  • 15:00 - 16:00 Plenary discussion assessing feedback from brainstorming 
  • 16:00 - 16:20 Recap of action points: Marie Sorivelle (UCPH)
  • 16:20 End of event Shyam Gopalakrishnan (UCPH)
  • 16:20 - 17:00 Drinks, snacks and networking 

Guest Speakers 

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Maria Elena Martino 

Associate Professor

Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Nutrition, University of Padova, Italy

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Alexandre Almeida 

Principal Investigator, MRC Career Development Fellow

Department of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Cambridge

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Sabina Leanti La Rosa 

Associate Professor

Faculty of Biosciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences,

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Christian Roghi

Director of Microbiome Solutions

Eagle Genomics | Microbiome Data Science Platform,
United Kingdom

Countdown to event....

Do not miss the opportunity to join us!


Event location:
Hinxton Hall Conference Center
Wellcome Genome Campus
Hinxton CB10 1RQ


+45 4040 3096
Marie Sorivelle
Project Manager


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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 952914.