The Symposium

During the 3-day meeting, we will discuss microbial omics approaches associated with human, gut, and environment where computational advancements have been made to analyze biological "big data". Microbial omics and its translational aspects will be correlated with new biotechnological discovery. In addition, renowned scientists will be presenting how the microbial omics technologies are enabling for the safe exploration of future space missions with respect to astrobiology and planetary protection.

The study of microbial communities or microbiomes has widespread applications, from human health, agriculture and animal husbandry to waste treatment, bioremediation and environmental health. We foresee that a critical emerging technology is the ability to model and engineer microbiomes and leverage their extraordinarily diverse functional capacities to find solutions for many of the challenges that we face, from eliminating childhood malnutrition to degrading plastics, to exploring other planets.

Through this mini-symposium, we seek to bring leading scientists from India and abroad and to present their recent findings, and discuss important directions and ideas for fostering a strong microbiome community in India. There is also an opportunity for early career researchers to actively participate and contribute.



31 October 2022

Time Speaker Talk title
0900‑0930  Opening of the Symposium
Session 1: Space Microbiome (Session Chair: Venkat)
0930-1000 Nick Bernadini Unlocking the Spacecraft and Human Habitat Microbiome to Enable the Next Generation of Space Exploration
1000-1030 Nitin K Singh (Virtual) Plant Growth in Space and Microbiome
1030-1100 Coffee Break
1100-1130 David Reed Engineering perspectives on conducting spaceflight investigations utilizing plants, microbes, and other model organisms
1130-1200 Fathi Karouia Trends and Challenges Towards Biotechnology Applications in Space
1200-1300 Kasthuri Venkateswaran Keynote: Microbes in Space: Issues and Solutions about “Omics in Space”
1300-1430 Lunch
Session 2: Environmental Microbiome (Session Chair: Scott Tighe)
1430-1500 Fumito Maruyama (Virtual) Unique unseen neighbors in the Japanese built environments
1500-1530 Scott Tighe Genomics beyond the Twilight Zone: Strategies for Profiling the Dark Matter from Extreme Environments
1530-1600 Silvano Onofri (Virtual) Searching for life from Antarctica to Mars
1600-1630 Alexandre Rosado Desert Microbiomes: Extreme Microbes from Antarctica and Saudi Arabia
1630-1700 Punyasloke Bhadury Exploring intricacy of coastal biogeochemical cycling: the importance of microbial biocomplexity
1700-1800 Poster Session + Tea Break
1800-1900 Visit to Research Park
1900-2000 Amazing Caves Video Screening (OAT)
2000 onwards Dinner

1 November 2022

Time Speaker Talk title
Session 2: Environmental Microbiome
0830‑0900  Tamas Torok (Virtual) Chernobyl fungi visit the ISS
Session 3 Gut Microbiome (Session Chair: Stefan Green)
0900-0930 Stefan Green Effects of Spaceflight on the Mammalian Gut Microbiome
0930-1000 Yogesh Shouche TBC
1000-1030 Coffee Break
1030-1100 Georgios Miliotis Shotgun metagenomics analysis of the salivary microbiome reveals taxonomic and functional changes in young adults with depression
1100-1130 Marcus Teixeira Application metabarcoding analyses in burrow and cave ecosystems to track spillover events and the emergence and re-emergence of fungal pathogens
1130-1200 Discussion
1200-1230 Lightning Talks
1230-1330 Lunch
Session 4 Applications: Human Health & Biotechnology
1330-1400 Daniela Bezdan Novel biomedical applications and automated hardware for microgravity research and non-invasive astronaut health monitoring on the ISS and beyond
1400-1430 Aarthi Ravikrishnan (Virtual) Gut metagenomes of Asian octogenarians reveal a metabolic shift and distinct microbial species associated with aging phenotypes
1430-1500 Tulika Srivastava Associations of the Gut microbiota composition and functional dynamics with the host genes and dietary factors
1500-1530 Aloke Kumar Bio-cementation and extra-terrestrial habitats for humanity
1545 Depart to Dakshin Chitra
1900 Dinner at Mahabalipuram

2 November 2022

Time Speaker Talk title
Session 5 Computational Approaches Session Chair: Karthik/Aloke
0900‑0930  Narendra Dixit EPICS: An efficient top-down method for predicting structures of microbial communities
0930-1000 Karthik Raman Computational Approaches to Decoding Microbial Interactions in Microbiomes
1000-1030 Nikos Kyrpides Microbiome Data Science: from the Earth Microbiome to the Global Virome
1030-1100 Stephan Ossowski Ultra-deep sequencing of microbial and viral populations reveals intra-species genomic variations
1100-1130 Coffee Break
1130-1200 Discussion
1200-1330 Lunch
1400-1500 Panel Discussion
1500-1530 Valedictory
1600 Depart for Airport

About IBSE

The Centre for Integrative Biology and Systems medicinE (IBSE), a CoE, at IIT Madras is an interdisciplinary centre dedicated to pioneering innovative approaches and algorithms that integrate multi-dimensional data across scales, to understand, predict and manipulate complex biological systems. The centre closely collaborates with Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBCDSAI), one of the premier data science and AI centres in India.

The main sponsor, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, is the top-ranked engineering institute in the country; and encourages interdisciplinary research at the interface of engineering, including computer science and biomedicine. While being situated in the heart of a busy metropolis, Chennai, the campus boasts hundreds of acres of forests, which are also home to various birds and animals, including the endangered blackbuck.


Registration for this symposium is open: click here.

Registration fees

Category Registration fees
IITM Students ₹ 3000
Students/Postdocs ₹ 6000 ($ 75)
Faculty ₹ 12000 ($ 150)
Industry ₹ 24000 ($ 300)

Please check this website regularly for updates.


Centre for Integrative Biology and Systems Medicine (IBSE)
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Chennai - 600036



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