KAUST-SFDA First Joint International Conference

Trends in Microbiome and Digital One Health

October 30 - November 1, 2023

Movie screening announcement
Special documentary screening of “The Invisible Extinction- The race to save our vanishing microbiomes”

October 31, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Discovery Cinema

The Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC), in partnership with the KAUST Smart Health Initiative (KSHI) and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), will be presenting a special screening of the documentary "The Invisible Extinction: - The race to save our vanishing microbiomes" as a featured event during its forthcoming conference titled " Trends in Microbiome and Digital One health". This screening is open to all members of the KAUST community, and admission is free.

This screening promises to be an eye-opening and thought-provoking experience that delves into the pressing issue of microbiome preservation and its implications for our health and future.


Two renowned scientists race to save our vanishing microbes before it's too late.

The Invisible Extinction spotlights the extraordinary work and charismatic personalities of renowned scientists Martin Blaser, and his partner in the lab and in life, Gloria Dominguez-Bello, as they endeavor to save the vanishing microbes that are essential for our survival.

The film joins them on this urgent quest from the USA to Venezuela, China,  Middle-east, and Switzerland, showing us how the overuse of antibiotics, elective C-sections, and processed foods are driving the destruction of our inner ecology, which is happening even faster than climate change.

As the Covid-19 pandemic hits, Blaser pivots to focus on how our microbes may help protect us from the virus and future pandemics, while Dominguez-Bello spearheads the creation of an international microbe vault to safeguard precious bugs that may help cure chronic illnesses.

Watch the movie trailer here: The Invisible Extinction- trailer


Martin Blaser edited
Martin J. Blaser

Martin J. Blaser holds the Henry Rutgers Chair of the Human Microbiome at Rutgers University, and serves as Director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine. Previously, he served as Chair of the Department of Medicine at New York University. A physician and microbiologist, Dr. Blaser has been studying the relationships we have with the human microbiome, the bacteria that live in us.  Over the last 20 years, he has also been actively studying the relationship of the human microbiome with both health and important diseases including asthma, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Dr. Blaser has been the advisor to many students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty. He has served as President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute, and Chair of the Advisory Board for Clinical Research of the NIH. He currently serves as Chair of the Presidential Advisory Council for Combatting Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB). He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy for Arts and Sciences. He has authored over 600 original  scientific articles, holds 24 U.S. patents, and he also wrote Missing Microbes, a book targeted to general audiences, now translated into 20 languages.
Maria Gloria

Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello

Maria GloriaDominguez-Bello is the Henry Rutgers Professor of Microbiome and Health at the Departments of Biochemistry and Microbiology, and of Anthropology at Rutgers University. She serves as the Director of the New Jersey Institute for Food Nutrition and Health (IFNH). Her research focuses on the microbiome and impacts exerted by urban practices, including practices that impair early life microbiota transmission and colonization -such as C-sections-. A Venezuelan-born, she has been working for 3 decades in the Amazon, where she studies changes on microbiomes across urbanization gradients. Dr.Dominguez-Bello has published extensively on symbiosis, impacts of modern practices on microbiomes, and strategies for restoration. She is a Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), and of the American Academy of Microbiology, and is member of the Editorial Board and reviewer at several scientific journals.   

She is a cofounder of the MicrobiotaVault, a global initiative to preserve the diversity of the microbes relevant to human health.