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MSE seminar today: Drs. De Wolf, Arefin, Rebolleda-Gomez, and Benezra, “Chasing Ghosts: Race, Racism, and the Future of Microbiome Research”

Today there is another installment in the spring 2022 Microbes and Social Equity speaker series! Each week, we’ll hear from a researcher who will share their work and perspective on how microbes are involved in all aspects of our lives, and how those microbes can affect individuals, communities, and ecosystems.

This series will run from Jan 19 – May 4, Wednesdays at 12:00 – 13:00 EST. These are presented over Zoom, and open to researchers, practitioners, students, and the public. Registration is free, and required for each individual seminar you would like to attend. You can find the full speaker list, details, and registration links for each seminar in the series here.

“Chasing Ghosts: Race, Racism, and the Future of Microbiome Research”

Dr. Travis J. De Wolfe, PhD; Dr. Mohammed Rafi Arefin, PhD; Dr. Maria Rebolleda-Gomez, PhD; and Dr. Amber Benezra, PhD

March 9, 2022, 12:00 – 13:00 EST. Register for this free talk.

About the speakers: This special seminar will feature a collaborative talk from Dr. Travis J. De Wolfe, PhD; Dr. Mohammed Rafi Arefin, PhD; Dr. Maria Rebolleda-Gomez, PhD; and Dr. Amber Benezra, PhD. This team recently published a transformative piece, “Chasing Ghosts: Race, Racism, and the Future of Microbiome Research“, and will be each discuss aspects of that.

Travis J. De Wolfe

Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Travis J. De Wolfe is a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research-funded Postdoctoral Fellow with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital. His research interests include Clostridioides difficile infection, colonization resistance, inflammatory bowel diseases, host-microbe interactions, and ecology of the gut microbiome.

Mohammed Rafi Arefin

Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Mohammed Rafi Arefin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. His research and teaching are focused on urban environmental politics with a particular focus on sanitation, health, and environmental justice in the Middle East and North America.

Amber Benezra

Department of Science and Technology Studies, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA

Amber Benezra is an Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Stevens Institute of Technology. She is a sociocultural anthropologist researching how studies of the human microbiome intersect with biomedical ethics, public health/technological infrastructures, and care. In partnership with human microbial ecologists, she is developing an “anthropology of microbes” to address global health problems across disciplines.

María Rebolleda Gómez

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, USA

María Rebolleda Gómez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine. Her research explores ecological and evolutionary dynamics in model microbial communities. She is also interested in Environmental History, Philosophy, and History of Science. María was born in Mexico City.


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