Newswise — DETROIT, May 5, 2014 – American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) will be holding its first-ever scientific symposium focusing on the microbiome – the trillions of bacteria that reside in the human body – and the enormous promise it holds for understanding the causes and potential cures and therapies for the more than 100 known autoimmune diseases, like lupus, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis and celiac disease. The Microbiome and Autoimmune Disease Colloquium will be held at the National Conference Center, 18980 Upper Belmont Place, Leesburg, Va., from Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19, 2014. It will bring together more than 20 leading North American researchers across disciplines to share findings from a variety of specialties and discuss emerging research in immunology, the microbiome and influence of the environment. Panels include “Measuring Environmental Influence on Autoimmune Diseases,” “The Microbiome and Immune Diseases,” “Sex Differences in the Microbiome” and “Impacts of the Microbiota on Autoimmune Disease.” Keynoting will be Andrew Serazin, President and CEO, Matatu, Inc. and Senior Fellow in Global Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, England. The symposium is hosted by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), in collaboration with the Society for Women’s Health research and the Immune Deficiency Foundation. It is part of AARDA’s continuing effort to encourage collaboration in the areas of autoimmune disease and inflammation. For the program agenda and information about attending the symposium, please visit About Autoimmune Disease and AARDA

Autoimmune disease (AD) disproportionately affects women. Of the 50 million Americans living and coping with ADs, more than 75 percent are women. AD is one of the top 10 leading causes of death of women under the age of 65. It encompasses more than 100 diseases, including psoriasis, Graves’ disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and lupus. It is responsible for more than $100 billion in direct health care costs annually.

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) is the nation's only non-profit organization dedicated to bringing a national focus to autoimmunity as a category of disease and a major women's health issue, and promoting a collaborative research effort in order to find better treatments and a cure for all autoimmune diseases. For more information, please visit us on social media, including:Facebook ( (@AARDATweets)YouTube (