Inter-organ Communication in Health and Disease Virtual Symposium


Bringing together some of the world-leaders in the study of physiology and metabolism, the Genes and Metabolism section at the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences will be hosting a half-day symposium on Inter-Organ Communication in Health and Disease.

Cells, organs and even organisms do not function in isolation, and it has become clear that studying the mechanisms of communication between these entities is crucial for understanding metabolic homeostasis. Our discussion-focussed format will allow us to debate some of the biggest questions in the metabolic regulation of health and disease: from the gut-brain axis and the influence of the microbiome, to the role of metabolites as non-canonical signals, we’ll cover both their physiological importance and the pathological implications when things go wrong.

We want this symposium to be a bit different: after short talks from our speakers, within each session we’ll have a 25-minute interactive discussion with our panel, in which participants will have an opportunity to propose questions for debate. To join us for what we hope will be a fun and inspiring afternoon, please register using the link below. The symposium will be free to attend, but places will be limited, so register soon!

Confirmed contributors

Scientific program

2 – 5.15 pm GMT // 9  – 12.15 pm EST // 6 – 9.15 am PST

Welcome and Introduction

2:00 – 2:10 pm. Irene Miguel-Aliaga, MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences

Session 1: ‘Signalling stress and disease’

Chairs: Irene Miguel-Aliaga and Santiago Vernia

2:10 – 2:20 pm. Jens Brüning. MPI Cologne

Hypothalamic control of integrative physiology

2:20 – 2:30 pm. Ana Domingos. Oxford University

‘Sympathetic neuroimmunity in the adipose organ’

2:30 – 2:40 pm. Michael J. Krashes. NIH NIDDK

‘High-fat food biases hypothalamic and mesolimbic expression of consummatory drives’

2:40 – 3:05 pm. Interactive discussion

Session 2: ‘Gut feelings, gut senses’

Chairs: Filipe Cabreiro and Chris Schiering

3:10 – 3:20 pm. Dragana Rogulja. Harvard Medical School

‘Tuning of arousal by the gut’

3:20 – 3:30 pm. Lora Hooper. UT Southwestern

Microbial regulation of vitamin A transport

3:30 – 3:40 pm. Yuki Oka. Caltech

Title TBC

3:40 – 4:05 pm. Interactive discussion

Session 3: ‘Non-canonical signals: metabolites and beyond’

Chairs: Louise Fets and Susumu Hirabayashi

4:10 – 4:20 pm. Norbert Perrimon. Harvard Medical School

Inter-organ communication signals mediating organ wasting

4:20 – 4:30 pm. Marian Walhout. UMASS Medical School

Title TBC

4:30 – 4:40 pm. Joshua Rabinowitz. Princeton University

Title TBC

4:40 – 4:50 pm. Ralph Deberardinis. UT Southwestern

‘Metabolic perturbations in disease and development’

4:50 – 5:15 pm. Interactive discussion. Closing remarks


Registration details

You will need to register via Eventbrite for this symposium, and then you will receive the Zoom invitation closer to the event.

Register here.

Use the symposium hashtag #LMSInterOrgan and follow the conversation.

Please send any questions to