Human microbiome science: Vision for the future, Bethesda, MD, July 24 to 26, 2013

Jacques Ravel, Martin J. Blaser, Jonathan Braun, Eric Brown, Frederic D. Bushman, Eugene B. Chang, Julian Davies, Kathryn G. Dewey, Timothy Dinan, Maria Dominguez-Bello, Susan E. Erdman, B. Brett Finlay, Wendy S. Garrett, Gary B. Huffnagle, Curtis Huttenhower, Janet Jansson, Ian B. Jeffery, Christian Jobin, Alexander Khoruts, Heidi H. KongJohanna W. Lampe, Ruth E. Ley, Dan R. Littman, Sarkis K. Mazmanian, David A. Mills, Andrew S. Neish, Elaine Petrof, David A. Relman, Rosamond Rhodes, Peter J. Turnbaugh, Vincent B. Young, Rob Knight, Owen White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


A conference entitled 'Human microbiome science: Vision for the future' was organized in Bethesda, MD from July 24 to 26, 2013. The event brought together experts in the field of human microbiome research and aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the state of microbiome research, but more importantly to identify and discuss gaps, challenges and opportunities in this nascent field. This report summarizes the presentations but also describes what is needed for human microbiome research to move forward and deliver medical translational applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 18 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Drug Administration (FDA), US Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), US Army, National Science Foundation (NSF), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and involved 37 speakers from a broad range of disciplines including microbiology, immunology, medicine, infectious disease, ecology, and computer science. The broad expertise of the organizing committee and the participants underscores the way in which microbes pervade the human body and our environment, and microbiome research may soon pervade the biomedical research enterprise.

Funding Information:
AD: Atopic Dermatitis; DACC: Data Analysis and Coordination Center; dbGaP: The Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes; ELSI: Ethical, Legal and Social Implications; EPA: Environmental Protection Agency; FDA: Food and Drug Administration; FMT: Fecal Microbiota Transplantation; GRAS: Generally Recognized as Safe; HMP: Human Microbiome Project; NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration; NHGRI: National Human Genome Research Institute; NIH: National Institutes of Health; NSF: National Science Foundation; OSTP: Office of Science and Technology Policy; USAID: US Agency for International Development; USDA: US Department of Agriculture.

Funding Information:
To understand the current state of human microbiome research, and to identify key areas for progress going forward, we held a conference in Bethesda, MD from July 24 to 26, 2013, entitled ‘Human Microbiome Science: Vision for the Future’. This conference, which was supported in part from a grant by NIH to the University of Maryland School of Medicine, together with corporate sponsors including Roche, Qiagen, Illumina, Life Technologies, MoBio, Metabolon, and the BioMed Central journal Microbiome, sought to provide an overview of cutting-edge work in NIH-supported microbiome research, and to identify obstacles as well as opportunities for progress in this challenging field of research. The meeting was organized by a trans-NIH working group, including 28 participants (programme staff) from 14 (of the 27) NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices, together with four scientific advisory members funded by the Human Microbiome Project. The meeting was attended by 269 participants (and an additional 250 with webcast) from academia, national labs, a range of government agencies including NIH, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Lita Proctor (NHGRI/NIH), for conceiving this idea to evaluate the status of microbiome research across the NIH, as well as Christopher Wellington, Nicholas Digiacomo, Sue Dilli, and Michele Giglio for their invaluable contributions to the organization of the scientific program and the logistics of the meeting. The conference was supported in part by grant U01HG004866 from the National Human Genomics Research Institute, National Institutes of Health. The conference organizers are grateful to Roche, Qiagen, Illumina, Life Technologies, MoBio, Metabolon, and the BioMed Central journal Microbiome for their financial support of the meeting.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Ravel et al.


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