Join us in Singapore!

One of the most rewarding, yet dangerous, things we do on a daily basis is to EAT.

Building on the success of our 2016 Gastronauts Symposium, Gastronauts Singapore took place from May 2-4th, 2018. Over 120 people attended the conference to network, hear from our 25 invited speakers, and build lifelong collaborations. We aimed to spark a global conversation on how food and microbes affect our brain and behavior. And, to envision the future tools needed to unveil gut-brain signaling. The conference was a joint effort between Duke University School of Medicine, Duke-National University of Singapore, and the Office of Naval Research Global in Singapore. Here is where bold thinkers, idea executioners, and trend setters met to imagine the future of gut brain biology.

For any inquiries, please email [email protected]

Download the agenda booklet here: Gastronauts Symposium Booklet
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
06:00p-09:00pSpeakers Reception
Tok Panjang, Dorsett Hotel
Thursday, May 3, 2018
08:15a-08:30a Opening Remarks
Andrew Muir, DUKE University
08:30a-10:30a Session I | Microbes that matter
Hosted by Diego Bohórquez
Raphael Valdivia, DUKE University
Jonathan Kotula, CARIBOU
Xiuqin Zhang, PEKING University
Matthew Chang, NUS Synthetic Biology Center
10:30a-11:00aCoffee Break
Refuel and expand your thinking with speakers
11:00a-12:30p Session II | Nutrients and Metabolism
Hosted by Irene Miguel Aliaga
Walter Wahli, NANYANG Technological University
Paul Yen, DUKE-NUS
Greg Suh, NEW YORK University
12:30p-02:00pLunch Break
Sponsored by Duke-NUS
02:00p-03:00p Discussion | Funding future gut brain research
How to think from the perspective of a funding officer
Pae Wu, Office of NAVAL Research
Robert Kokoska, US ARMY Research Lab
Jermont Chen, AIR FORCE Office of Scientific Research
Justin Gallivan, DARPA BTO
Iain Dickson, NATURE Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology
03:00p-03:30pTea Break
Refuel and expand your thinking with speakers
03:30p-05:30p Session III | The Second Brain
Hosted by Xiling Shen
John Furness, University of MELBOURNE
Arthur Beyder, MAYO CLINIC
Nick Spencer, FLINDERS University
Sven Pettersson, NANYANG Technological University
05:30p-06:30p Wine & Cheese
Poster Session
Brew your next big idea with your new collaborators
06:30p-09:00pDinner by Invitation
Transportation leaves at 6:30p
Friday, May 4, 2018
08:30a-10:30a Session IV | Engineering the Gut
Hosted by Raphael Valdivia
Xiling Shen, DUKE University
Shawn Je, DUKE-NUS
Maxime Mahe, University of NANTES
10:30a-11:00aCoffee Break
Refuel and expand your thinking with speakers
11:00a-12:30p Session V | Neuroengineering
Hosted by Nick Spencer
Lawrence Carin, DUKE University
John Doyle, CALIFORNIA Institute of Technology
Warren Grill, DUKE University
12:30p-01:30pLunch Break
Explore Singapore's gastronomy with your new colleagues
01:30p-03:00p Session VI | Gut, Brain, and Disease
Hosted by Arthur Beyder
Karl Herrup, HONG KONG University
David Silver, DUKE-NUS
Rodger Liddle, DUKE University
03:00p-03:30pTea Break
Refuel and expand your thinking with speakers
03:30p-05:30p Session VII | The neurobiology of gut feelings
Hosted by John Furness
Diego Bohórquez, DUKE University
Luis Saraiva, SIDRA Qatar
Irene Miguel Aliaga, IMPERIAL College London
Ivan de Araujo, YALE University
05:30p-06:00pClosing Remarks
Thomas Coffman, DUKE-NUS
Saturday, May 5, 2018
11:00a Check out
Thank you for joining us. We look forward to seeing you at our next event!

[wpgmza id=”1″] Gastronauts Singapore was held in the Amphitheatre on the second floor of the Duke-NUS Campus, located within the Khoo Teck Puat Building (8 College Road, Singapore 169857). See more about the Duke-NUS campus here.

The Singapore Changi Airport is on the eastern tip of Singapore and is located about 30 minutes from Duke-NUS Medical School by taxi. From the airport there are a number of ways to transfer to the hotel:

  • Taxi is the easiest – simply follow the signs after clearing Customs. Meters are always used in Singapore and prices are reasonable. A trip to the city during the day will be between S$20 – S$30, including a S$3 – S$5 airport surcharge. An additional 50% surcharge applies between 12:00 AM and 06:00 AM.
  • Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) – the trains run from a station between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, but you’ll need to change trains at the Tanah Merah station to a city-bound train. The closest station to Duke-NUS Medical School is Outram Park MRT station which is on the East West Line (Green line)/North East Line(Purple line).
  • Bus – Bus terminals can be found in the basements of Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and Terminal 3. The bus service runs from 06:00 AM – 12:00 AM.

The closest MRT station to Duke-NUS Medical School is Outram Park Station on the East West Line (Green line)/North East Line (Purple Line). Note that the East West Line (Green Line) is the same MRT line as Changi Airport.


We have arranged for invited speakers to stay at the Dorsett Singapore (333 New Bridge Road, Singapore 088765). If other attendees are interested in booking with our negotiated rates, please contact [email protected].


Kintamani Indonesian Restaurant
Halal Indonesian cuisine over a buffet spread and an a la carte menu. Operation hours are from 12:00pm to 2:30pm for lunch and 6:00pm to 10:30pm for dinner. Located in Furama RiverFront Hotel, 405 Havelock Rd. Tel: +65 6333 8898

Features authentic Singaporean, Thai, Indian, Western & Mediterranean food. Operating hours on weekdays are from 12:00pm to 5:00am. Located at 409 River Valley Road. Tel: +65 6337 7493

The Orange Lantern
Vietnamese restaurant. Operating hours from 11:00am to 10:00pm. Located at 73 Killiney Road. Tel: 6732 8032

Indochilli Singapore
Halal Indonesian Cuisine. Operating hours on weekdays are from 11:30am to 10:00pm. Located at 54 Zion Road. Tel: 6445 1766

Straits Kitchen Local buffet with a halal certified kitchen. Lobby Level Grand Hyatt Singapore.