Introduction to Microbiome and what it takes to conduct a Microbiome Study

Pedro Dimitriu, Senior Director of Bioinformatics at Microbiome Insights Inc., demystifies the complex topic of microbiome and shares the latest research in the field. He discusses common microbiome myths, facts, terminology and shares practical tips on how to plan and conduct a microbiome study.

Topics Covered 

  • Topic 1: The field of microbiome: science and research behind it, trends and evolution, applications and disease indications (microbiome and cancer, microbiome and GI tract, drug response). Is a disease characterized by dysbiosis? Are prebiotics and probiotics helpful? Why study microbes? Get insightful answers to these questions and more from the Dr. Dimitriu’s workshop.
  • Topic 2: The history of (meta)genomics discusses the timeline of metagenomics field development. 2000s marked the initiation of a few notable microbiome studies, including Human Microbiome Project (HMP-I and HMP-II), as well as Amerian Gut citizen science project. The scale of HMP was very impressive at the time and the computational methods have improved significantly from HMP-I to HMP-II with the latter being able to establish a quantified strain personalization and retention dynamics, as well as identify niche-specific, host-associated microbial community function. These studies were followed by Integrative HMP, involving three clinical studies as models for microbiome associated conditions: IBD, pre-term birth, prediabetes.
  • Topic 3: The last topic covered in this video is how to design and execute a microbiome study. Generally, the steps involved in the study are:
    • Sampling
    • Shipment and storage
    • DNA extraction
    • Profiling method 
    • Library pooling
    • Sequencing hardware
    • Data analysis

What are the main considerations and gold standards pertaining to each of these steps? What are the pros and cons of each sample type? The video does a deep dive into the specifics of each step of the study. 

Disclaimer: Please note: this video was filmed at a live training session at Emory University. We apologize for the occasional difficulty in hearing some of the participants’ questions.



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