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Human Oral Microbiome: Collaboration Opportunity
As a follow up to the ReSourcing Big Data Symposium, this initiative of the Harvard Catalyst Translational Innovator, offered pilot funding for research proposals that utilize accessible data from the Human Oral Microbiome Database (HOMD). Funding of up to $50,000 was available to qualified investigators for proposals completed using the complete HOMD data set and tools developed by HOMD for comparison and analysis. The goal of this opportunity is to support collaborations leading to insights about the human oral microbiome and
- Changes in systemic health status
- Metagenome, transcriptome, and proteome studies of microorganisms present in the human oral cavity
- Comparison with curated 16S rRNA data bases for human nose, vagina, gut, and skin microbiomes
- Phylogenetic comparison and analysis
- Oral ecological and biogeographical studies.
However, this opportunity was not limited to these areas of collaboration.
Two pilot grants were awarded in amounts up to $50,000 for each one year project. Funding decisions were announced in December 2015.
Principal Investigator: Colleen Cavanaugh, PhD, Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Studies of the oral microbiome, collectively those microbes that live within our mouths, have revealed their critical importance in oral health as they provide a range of services for the host. However, many oral bacteria cannot be grown, thus culture-independent approaches, such as sequencing regions of the 16S rRNA gene, are used to study community composition. Oligotyping, a new method for 16S sequence analysis, has revolutionized our ability to detect fine scale genetic structure of microbial communities. This project aims to create an Oligotype Database to complement and expand the Forsyth Institute’s Human Oral Microbiome Database (HOMD). Oligotype analysis of tongue biofilms will be conducted, and oligotypes will be incorporated into the HOMD.
Principal Investigator: Katherine Lemon, MD, PhD, Forsyth Institute
Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) affects >5% of Americans and is almost universal in post-pubertal cystic fibrosis (CF) patients; however, the composition and genetic diversity of the bacterial communities (microbiome) in CRS remain understudied. The Human Oral Microbiome Database (HOMD) is an outstanding resource for identification and classification of species of bacteria present in the mouth. This project aims to expand HOMD to include bacteria from adult and pediatric sinonasal and skin microbiomes in health and disease.