As part of Carleton University’s Science Café series, Neuroscience PhD student Ana Santos will present The Missing Link? Integrating a Microbial Perspective into Our Understanding of Mood and Anxiety Disorders.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Sunnyside Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, 1049 Bank Street, Ottawa
Info: This event is free and open to the public.

Media are invited to attend the event.

Mental health disorders like depression and anxiety are leading causes of disability in Canada. Currently, diagnoses of mental illness are mainly based on reported symptoms and do not incorporate biomarkers – contributing to a high rate of ineffective treatments.

Our bodies contain just as many microbes as our own cells. These organisms have been shown to be capable of moderating how we respond to stress and regulate emotions. In this talk, Santos will explore how gut microbes can communicate back-and-forth with their host and discuss the crucial – yet widely overlooked – role our gut microbiota has in determining vulnerability and resilience to stress and mental illnesses.

There are multiple factors, such as how we eat or how we interact with people, which may influence microbiota. Santos will describe her research into whether positive or adverse influences can determine if the microbiota acts in a protective or pathological manner regarding mental health.

About Science Café

The Science Café series is organized by the Faculty of Science at Carleton to discuss relevant issues facing our society and how science can help solve real-world problems. Meet some of Carleton’s award-winning faculty members and graduate students as they share their excitement about science with the community. For more information, visit:

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Thursday, February 6, 2020 in
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