8:50 am Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Transforming Product Development Through Data-Driven Approaches

9:00 am Leveraging Metagenomics for the Development of Improved Nutritional Interventions in Companion Animals


  • Exploring how to take bioinformatic data and extract meaningful insights from it
  • Outlining the advantages that using metagenomics has over alternative methods

9:40 am OMICS to Decipher Microbiome Composition & Functions & to Develop Personalized Nutrition


  • Microbiome, performance, health and sustainability, our current challenges
  • From correlations to causation: how OMICs methods can help?
  • A lot of promises but also still a lot of challenges

10:10 am Defining the Core Healthy Microbiome: The Value of Building a Fecal Microbiome Reference Dataset for Cats & Dogs


  • Defining the core healthy microbiome provides an important frame of reference that is useful for feed and supplement formulators as well as veterinary medicine
  • Diet is a major factor influencing the composition of bacteria in the gut microbiome, and nutrition studies show that members of the core microbiome in healthy dogs and cats respond in a predictable manner to dietary changes
  • Microbiome testing is useful as a research tool for designing new products that support and promote a healthy gut microbiome

10:40 am Networking Break


An opportunity to network with your peers and connect with those who can assist your R&D efforts

11:10 am Taming the Data Monster: Connecting the Omics to the Functional

  • Matt Koci Professor, North Carolina State University


  • Microbiome, metabolomic, and RNAseq data is great for giving a broad survey of what is going on in the gut at a particular time
  • These approaches rarely point to one clear pathway driving host health
  • The goal is using the different omics tools to identify core pathways, ranking them for functional characterization

11:40 am Effective DFMs – More Than a Gut Feeling


  • Diverse and characterized microbial library
  • Specific and relevant bioassays
  • Bioinformatics tools

12:10 pm Lunch Break


Your opportunity to grab a bite to eat and join some informal networking

Transforming Model Development for Early Stage Research Roundtable

1:00 pm In Vitro Models for Predicting In Vivo Effects


  • Methods and laboratory models for understanding microbiome community function
  • Key data that can help drive in vitro model development and speed product discovery & validation
  • Are these models and predictive methods reliable? Can we accurately re-create microbiome interactions in the lab?

Exploring the Regulatory Landscape of Microbiome Animal Health Products

1:30 pm Fireside Chat – Effectively Navigating the Regulatory Landscape

  • Marcos Rostagno Director, Technical & Regulatory Services, Phytobiotics North America
  • Padmakumar Pillai Senior Advisor, R&D Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Cargill


  • How do you choose your path?
  • What are the pros and cons of each of the regulatory approaches (GRAS, Self GRAS, New Ingredient, FDA)
  • Discussion around claims, and what data is required to support this
  • What are the challenges in working with the FDA?
  • Can feeds be re-positioned to therapeutics?

Learning How the Microbiome Changes With Age to Develop More Targeted Interventions

2:00 pm Perinatal Nutrition & Nutrition Management On Microbiome Development in Poultry On Microbiome Development in Poultry

  • Peter Ferket Distinguished Professor of Poultry Science, Nutrition, and Biotechnology, North Carolina State University


  • This presentation will discuss how to cultivate gut health by understanding the fundamentals of ecology and enteric development, particularly during the early growth phase, including 1) the ecological environment, 2) nutrient substrate balance and 3) symbiotic microflora stability
  • Evidence will be presented that perinatal nutritional manipulation by in ovo feeding not only enhances early enteric development, but also the development of pioneer colonizers that are important for a sustained and stable microbiome
  • Management and dietary treatments during the neonatal period will be presented that further benefits the development of the gut microbiome and gut health and resist the proliferation of enteric pathogens

2:30 pm The Effect of Probiotics on Microbial Succession Along the Gastrointestinal Tract in Livestock Species from Birth/Hatch to Harvest

  • Xandra Smith Research Manager, Arm & Hammer Feed and Food Production


  • The early colonizing bacteria affect succession of the gut microbiota and impact subsequent performance
  • Probiotics fed to young livestock could impact microbial succession and improve health parameters
  • Studies were performed to determine the microbial succession along the gastrointestinal tract of chicks, poults, weanling pigs and calves fed Bacillus-based probiotics

3:00 pm Chairperson’s Closing Remarks

3:05 pm End of Conference