Registration begins

July 1, 2019








The goal of the Pittsburgh Rust Belt Microbiome (RBM) Conference is to bring together the microbiome, microbial evolution, and pathogenesis research communities from academic institutions and medical centers in the Rust Belt Region. 

Our program integrates basic and translational science researchers and physicians in clinical practice at all levels of their careers. Plenary session, keynote talks, poster sessions, lunches, and a banquet dinner will provide multiple opportunities for participants to present and discuss their work.

Hosted by

Preliminary Scientific program


Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D.

Chairman, Vascular Cell Biology and
Atherosclerosis Lerner Research Institute,
Cleveland Clinic

Addressing roles of gut microbiome in cardiovascular disease

Lauren Bakaletz, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Microbial Pathogenesis
Vice President, The Research Institute at Nationwide
Children’s Hospital, Ohio State University

Addressing microbial biofilms in otitis media

Theresa Alenghat, V.M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine,
Department of Pediatrics,
University of Cincinnati

Addressing gut microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease


Microbiome in Heart and Lung Disorders

Gut Microbiome and Cholesterol Metabolism
Jonathan Mark Brown, Ph.D.
Cleveland Clinic

Gut Microbiome and Hypertension
Jennifer Pluznick, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University

Biofilms in Cystic Fibrosis
Jennifer Bomberger, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh

Pneumococcal Signaling
Luisa Hiller, Ph.D.
Carnegie Mellon University

The Lung Microbiome in Critical Illness
Georgios Kitsios, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh

Antimicrobial Delivery with Perfluorocarbon Emulsions
Keith Cook, Ph.D.
Carnegie Mellon University

Microbiome, Nutrition, and Athletic Performance
Mother and Infant Microbial Cross-Talk
Gut Microbiome and NEC
Ardythe Morrow, Ph.D. 
University of Cincinnati

Infant Microbiota and Mucosal/Systemic Immunity
Michael Bailey, Ph.D. 
Ohio State University

Gut Mucosal Immunity in Neonates
Timothy Hand, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh

Gut Microbiome in Health and Disease
Host Metabolites and Microbiota in the Gut
Margherita Cantorna, Ph.D.
Pennsylvania State University

Gut Microbiota and IBD in Children or Resistome Profiling
David B Haslam, M.D. 
University of Cincinnati

Gut Microbiome and Epigenetic Control of Immunity
Jennifer Franko, Ph.D. 
West Virginia University

Beyond the Bacteriome: Fungi and Viruses
Skin Mycobiome
Mahmoud Ghannoum, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University

Exploiting mycobacteriophages for TB treatment
Graham Hatfull, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh

Candida Biofilm Formation and Development of Infection
Aaron Mitchell, Ph.D.
Carnegie Mellon University

Gut mycobiota and Inflammation
IIlyan Iliev, Ph.D.
Weill Cornell Medical College

Skin mycobiome
Wook Kim, Ph.D.
Dusquene University

The 1st Pittsburgh Rust Belt Microbiome Conference


November 4 – 5, 2019

Carnegie Mellon University
Simmons Auditorium
Tepper Building
4765 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Abstract submissions for poster and selected talks will open July 1, 2019.


There will be a RMB2019 Conference Special Issue hosted by the Journal of Bacteriology.
Submissions will be due December 10, 2019.


Michael Morowitz, M.D.

Michael Morowitz, M.D.

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Luisa Hiller, Ph.D.

Luisa Hiller, Ph.D.

Carnegie Mellon University

Alison Morris, M.D., M.S.

Alison Morris, M.D., M.S.

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine