“Of Mice, Men and Monkeys” STEM event to focus on microbiome research April 23 at Oakton

Steve Repsys

Des Plaines, Ill. (April 9, 2019) – Biological anthropologist Katherine Amato, Ph.D., will present her research focusing on the understanding of the human gut microbiome by examining the microbiome of other animals at a free lecture 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at Oakton Community College, 1600 E. Golf Road, in Room 210 of the Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center.

Amato, assistant professor of anthropology at Northwestern University, will present “Of Mice, Men and Monkeys: Using a Comparative Approach to Understand the Human Gut Microbiome” as part of Oakton’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Speaker Series sponsored by Oakton’s Center for Promoting STEM.

“Given the challenges of studying humans, Katherine’s work studying animal models, especially primates, are essential for developing and testing hypotheses in microbiome research,” says Center for Promoting STEM Coordinator Gloria Liu.

Amato’s current research focuses on microbial contributions to host nutrition during periods of reduced food availability. She has worked in the field extensively with black howler monkey in Mexico and is currently establishing projects with both humans and nonhuman primates.

Amato also has received grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. She holds a doctorate in ecology, evolution and conservation biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Dartmouth College.

The STEM Speaker Series continues when Harriett Washington, author of “Medical Apartheid,” will present “Building Equity in Healthcare” 2 p.m. Friday, April 26, at the Des Plaines campus. The STEM Speaker Series concludes 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, at the Des Plaines campus, with a presentation by Eugenia Cheng, a scientist in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

For more information, contact Liu at 847-635-1738 or [email protected], or visit www.oakton.edu/academics/special_programs/stem.