The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) met at the end of August for the third time since the group formed. Discussions focused on the most recent scientific developments in the rapidly growing field of probiotics and prebiotics. This invitation-only meeting, surrounded by the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains in Copper Mountain, Colo., August 29-31, 2004, convened 84 scientists from 13 countries. Presentations by Joel Weinstock (University of Iowa), Thadeus Stappenbeck (Washington University School of Medicine), Connie Weaver (Purdue University), Ian Rowland (Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health) and Peter Lee (Stanford University) covered a range of topics from use of helminthes to modulate immune dysregulation to probiotics bioengineered to improve resistance to HIV. Discussion sub-group topics included: Engineered probiotics as therapeutics: formats and challenges; Host commensal interactions-who talks to whom and how; Omics technologies-exploration of the interaction of pro and prebiotics with the host; Hygiene and immune regulation; Biomarkers for healthy people; Prebiotic and probiotic applications to companion animals; Development of a probiotic dossier using science-based criteria and Physiological relevance of prebiotic activity.

"This meeting was an incredible networking opportunity for key academic and industry scientists," says Mary Ellen Sanders, current president of ISAPP.

In addition to the academic participants, about 25 industry scientists participated in the meeting. Twenty companies committed to science-driven probiotic and prebiotic product development contributed financially and scientifically to the meeting.

ISAPP is a non-profit scientific organization incorporated in 2002. Meetings of ISAPP were held in Ontario, Canada, in 2002, and Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom, in 2003. More information on this organization can be found at

The complete scientific program for the 2004 meeting can be found at