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Institute Lecture on Microbiomics by Dr. Janhavi Raut

The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay organised an Institute Distinguished Lecture (in memory of Professor K. C. Khilar) on Thursday, March 12, 2020. The details of the lecture are given below:

Title:            " Microbiomics: Role of Microbe-Microbe and Host-Microbe interaction in  Shaping Microbial Communities"

Speaker:        Dr. Janhavi Raut

Day & Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Time:            5.15 pm

Venue:         VMCC (Prof. B. Nag Auditorium), IIT Bombay.

About the speaker:

Dr. Janhavi Raut is currently Director, R&D at Unilever R&D centre at Bangalore. She obtained her B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Bombay and subsequently pursued her higher studies at Pennsylvania State University. For the last 21 years, she has worked on a myriad of projects across locations & teams at Unilever, thereby building very diverse skills. She has expertise in soap processing and rheology, natural colourants, hydrodynamic cavitation, photo-protection, biomaterials and human microbiomes. She has over 30 inventions patented in multiple countries with a total of 50 patents granted in her name. She has held visiting and adjunct professorship appointments at IIT Delhi, MIT Manipal and BMS college of engineering, Bangalore.


It is well recognized today that Humans and Microbes form a joint ecosystem. The human body hosts microbes that have evolved in partnership with the body and which occupy pretty much all available real estate in and on the body to the extent that ‘we’ are more microbes than humans. These microbes integrate intimately into our physiology, influencing our development, health, beauty and even mood.

Driven by the advancements in sequencing technologies, the past 10 years has seen an exponential increase of interest and activity in microbiome science, both in terms of academic publications as well as industry launches. Crucially, consumers are also becoming aware of the role and importance of the human microbiome. There are over 100 start-ups in this space globally with brand propositions ranging from microbiome friendly formulations to prebiotics and probiotics for topical applications.

The composition and stability of the microbial assemblies are strongly influenced by microbe-microbe and host-microbe interactions which can be adaptive and display higher-order effects. The team has developed multi pronged approaches combining insights from microbiome data, in vitro models and in silico approaches to study the role of host microenvironment and interactions on microbial assemblies. A few examples of these approaches and their applications towards understanding microbial assemblies and their role in influencing relevant consumer endpoints were discussed in the lecture.