The microbiome is intimately coupled to the development of the human body and its environment. While we have still to define what constitutes a “healthy” microbiome, some of the major 21st century diseases are now linked to the microbiome, such as asthma; cystic fibrosis; childhood obesity; Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD); fatty liver disease; rheumatoid arthritis; and neurological diseases including autism, Parkinson’s Disease, and cancer.
In contrast to the human genome, which is challenging to alter, we modify our microbiome on a daily basis through diet and supplements. Defining positive interventions will require more research, but it’s within our reach. Additionally, engineering microbes, including eukaryotic microbes such as yeast and algae, to deliver drugs offers the potential for novel therapeutic platforms. To get there, we need to understand microbial contributions to development from an individual, a community, and a global health perspective.
The Center for Microbiome Innovation leverages UC San Diego’s world-class experts across multiple disciplines and access to all the latest omics tools. These include genomics, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabolomics, multiplex proteomics, artificial intelligence, and more to process hundreds of thousands of samples each year and analyze and collect data for some of the largest microbiome cohorts in the world.
Accelerating the impact of microbiome research means investing in opportunities to develop novel tools and methods for analyzing and manipulating microbiomes. It means partnering with stakeholders invested in ending diseases confounding conventional medicine, innovative environmental solutions, and transformative applications in personalized wellness.