London, ONThe past decade has featured rapid acceleration in the study of microbes and how they influence human and planetary health. This includes the study of probiotics and their diverse benefits. On Friday, May 4, Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) and Western University will host a free public symposium on health through food and microbes.

The symposium will cover dynamic areas of research that are collectively impacting society and human wellbeing. These include the critical role of honey bees in pollination, bioremediation of toxic compounds, fermented food, maternal and infant nutrition and how microbes can confer a range of health benefits. The topics include a view of life in developing countries, and efforts to help people overcome many challenges.

The highlight of the event is a Gairdner Global Health Lecture titled “Food for 9.7 billion people,” delivered by Rob Vos, Director Markets, Trade and Institutions, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC. Dr. Vos will discuss the key challenges facing today’s food systems and the implications of failing to address them for the global burden of disease.

“We live in a microbial world, and beneficial ones are essential to the future of our planet and for human wellness and longevity,” says Gregor Reid, PhD, a scientist at Lawson, professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and lead organizer of this symposium. “The highly respected speakers at this event will highlight the potential for microbes to improve global health, and remind us of the fragility of life on this planet.”

The event will conclude with an open forum and a reception featuring locally produced fermented foods.

Media are invited to attend this symposium and interview Gregor Reid and Rob Vos:

Date: Friday, May 4, 2018
Time: 12:45 – 6:30 p.m. (Please see the event poster for a full list of presentations)
*Gregor Reid and Rob Vos will be available for media interviews at 12 p.m.
Location: Western University, Arts & Humanities Building, Room 1R40
Please confirm with Jessica Bonin if you plan on attending.


As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, and working in partnership with Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute is committed to furthering scientific knowledge to advance health care around the world.

Western delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.

The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University is one of Canada’s preeminent medical and dental schools. Established in 1881, it was one of the founding schools of Western University and is known for being the birthplace of family medicine in Canada. For more than 130 years, the School has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence and a passion for scientific discovery.

For more information, please contact:
Jessica Bonin
Communications & External Relations
Lawson Health Research Institute
T: 519-685-8500 ext. 75616