How the microbiome and diet influence immunity?

About the webinar

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  • An On-demand webinar in Video format. Duration varies from 20 to 35 minutes.
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Duration: 75 min


Learn about the relationship between the human microbiome, diet, and the immune system. Professor Liam O’Mahony & Gillian DunnGalvin will discuss the potential of different microbiome-based products (such as probiotics, prebiotics, or live therapeutics) to protect us against infections and associated inflammatory damage. Both theoretical and practical considerations will be presented from a clinical research perspective.  

Humankind faces a crisis of a communicable chronic disease that attacks the respiratory system, better known as Covid-19 or the Coronavirus. Due to the unprecedented arrival of this highly contagious disease, there has been a worldwide scramble to better understand the human immune system, its functions, and most importantly, what can we do to strengthen it. However, the immune system spans much further than the respiratory system, see below some examples:

  • The immune system is present in all organs of the body​

  • Extensive sensory capabilities​

  • A vast array of molecules for communication and effect or functions​

  • Ability to learn, adapt and remember​

  • The majority of diseases have an immune component ​


Dr. Liam O’Mahony | Principal Investigator at APC Microbiome Ireland

Prof. Liam O'Mahony is a Principal Investigator in the SFI Research Centre APC Microbiome Ireland and a Professor of Immunology at University College Cork’s Dept of Medicine and School of Microbiology. He is leading a team whose early research findings suggest that an ongoing immune response may be one reason why some patients develop long-term post-COVID symptoms.

Prof. Liam O’Mahony received his BSc in Microbiology from University College Cork, Ireland in 1994 and his PhD in Immunology was awarded in 1998 by Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Thereafter, Dr. O’Mahony performed post-doctoral research at the Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Department of Medicine, University College Cork, and the Digestive Diseases Division, UCLA. Dr. O’Mahony was a Principal Investigator at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, from 2003 to 2008. From 2009 to 2018, he was head of Molecular Immunology at the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research, University of Zürich, Switzerland. He is currently the Prof. of Immunology at the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, APC Microbiome Ireland, National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland. He is also currently an EAACI executive committee member and is an Allergy associate editor. His research interests are focused on the molecular basis for microbe and metabolite modulation of mucosal inflammatory responses. In particular, Prof. O’Mahony is investigating the basic mechanisms by which microbes influence allergic sensitization within the gut, skin, and lungs. 

GILLIAN DUNNGALVIN | Statistician at Atlantia Clinical Trials

Gillian works as the statistician for Atlantia Clinical Food trials, which provides clinical trial expertise for the food, beverage and supplements sector. We conduct studies in functional ingredients, nutraceuticals, medical foods and dietary supplements, providing an end to end service. Her background is in psychological medicine and consumer/patient perspectives, primarily in chronic illness and nutrition. As a psychologist and statistician, Gillian has the unique perspective of understanding the interplay between physiological and psycho-social factors within clinical trial research.

Data integrity and multi-disciplinary collaboration are a central part of her work. She teaches research methodology and statistics at third-level and has published in the health field. In addition to her PhD research in chronic illness management, she is part of multi-disciplinary international team which validated ED05 dose of peanut, published in 2018. Currently she is the scientific communications manager for the EU COST Action ‘Core Outcome Measures for Food Allergy’. This project addresses the Societal Challenges in Health by improving our understanding of health and our ability to reliably monitor health outcomes, and demonstrates new options for healthcare delivery. The outcomes will help improve the quality of clinical trials, and the Action will advance the career of young researchers, strengthening Europe's leading position in pharmaceutical sciences.

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