The 12th World Congress on Inflammation wrapped up on Wednesday August 12th after four days packed with cutting edge inflammatory research by key opinions leaders in the field. Presentations hit every aspect of the scientific spectrum from development of pre-clinical models through retrospective studies on new target therapies and everything in between. Highlights of the conference included the Keynote Lecture by Luke O’Neill of Trinity College Dublin, the Symposium “Mechanisms Underlying Microbiome-Mediated Inflammation”, and multiple discussions on identifying and targeting novel biomarkers of inflammatory diseases.
Keynote speaker Luke O’Neill gave an elegant and charismatic talk focused on the role of NLRP3 in regulating inflammation. He discussed how activation of NLRP3 can reprogram the metabolic pathways within immune cells to subsequently alter their function. Multiple researchers gave enlightening talks on how organ microbiomes can dictate a specific immune response following injury. For example, gut and lung microbiomes can play a role in IBD and respiratory inflammatory disease, respectively. These microbiome-related responses can determine the disease course- either exacerbating or resolving the disease. This open the door to possibilities of developing drugs that target the microbiota rather than other downstream disease mediators. Lastly, the development of new biomarkers and correlating actionable therapies were the highlight of many talks at WCI this year; highlighting the importance of biomarker discovery and validation in disease. Biomarkers can provide diagnostic, prognostic and actionable information to better treat patients in the clinic. Overall, the conference had a great mix of optimizing current and developing new models to address outstanding questions in the area of inflammatory disease treatment.