Improving Health & Medicine

Weizmann Global Gathering 2014: Partners in Innovation, Dr. Eran Elinav

Dr. Eran Elinav is a medical doctor as well as a scientist, which makes him ideal to conduct research on gut microbiota and how they impact our health. His Partners in Innovation presentation at the Weizmann Institute’s 2014 Global Gathering was entitled “A Gut Feeling: The Surprising Roles of Our Intestinal Microbes in Health and Disease,” and he spoke about just that: the surprising importance of these microbes, and his surprise that no one was studying them. Of course, that has changed, and we now know that while our gut biota makes us sick on occasion, it primarily helps keep us healthy. But how? And what is its complete role?

Our gut microbiome is comprised of trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, all living together – and together with us, too. They form a complete ecosystem that is critical for our health. Dr. Elinav and other scientists are just beginning to realize the full importance of the microbiome, but Dr. Elinav’s groundbreaking work to date includes being able to determine how our individual bodies will react to specific foods – for example, you might experience a sugar crash after eating ice cream, while your neighbor stays on an energetic even keel. Dr. Elinav’s research has tremendous potential for improving our everyday lives, making us fitter … and happier.