Creation of National Microbiome Initiative

May 13th, 2016 @   - 

Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced a new, National Microbiome Initiative, and senior scientists Zoe Cardon and David Mark Welch represented the MBL, and Jack Gilbert represented the new UChicago/Argonne/MBL Microbiome Center, at the event in Washington, DC. The National Microbiome Initiative has emerged over the last several years from the growing recognition that microbes are at the core of organismal health and ecosystem services sustaining humanity world-wide.


Photo Credit: Suzanne Thomas and Francois Thomas

Over the past two decades, building on collaboration between John Hobbie (Ecosystems Center) and Mitch Sogin (Bay Paul Center), the MBL has fostered an uncommon synergy, combining in-depth microbial, genomic, and bioinformatic expertise with organismal and ecosystems research. Created by scientists drawn year-round to Woods Hole and the far-flung research sites the MBL spearheads, this growing microbiomes community is now examining microbial activities in ecosystems from deep mid-ocean ridges to the coastal and polar frontlines of global climate change. The power of field and lab experiments is being combined with the clarity of evolutionary, ecological, and thermodynamic theory to identify commonalities uniting microbiome function. These commonalities -- new paradigms – will provide the framework for new solutions to real-world problems, from improving diagnostic tools for ecosystem, organismal, and human health, to developing novel strategies for environmental resilience and remediation.

For more information about the initiative, please see:
MBL's Press Release
White House Briefing
Related Publications:

Blaser M, Cardon ZG, Cho M, Dangl J, Donohue J, Green J, Knight R, Maxon M, Northern T, Pollard K, Brodie E. (2016) Towards a predictive understanding of Earth's microbiomes to address 21st Century challenges. mBio 7(3):e00714-16, doi: 10.1128/mBio.00714-16

Biteen JS, Blainey PC, Cardon ZG, Chun M, Church G, Dorrestein PC, Fraser SE, Gilbert J, Jansson JK, Knight R, Miller JF, Ozcan A, Prather KA, Taha S, Ven den Engh G,  Quake S, Ruby EG, Silver P, Weiss PS, Wong GCL, Wright AT, Xie XS, Young TD (2016) Tools for the Microbiome: Nano and Beyond. ACS Nano, 10:6-37. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b07826

Alivisatos AP et al. (2015) A unified initiative to harness Earth’s microbiomes. Science 350:507-508. (45 authors in Unified Microbiome Initiative Consortium.)

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