Vanderbilt’s current international reputation in the microbiome sciences has five focal areas: (i) evolution and function of host-microbiome interactions, (ii) viral, bacterial, and fungal genomics, (iii) epidemiology, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, including vaccination and systems biology, (iv) microbiome colonization and assembly, and (v) mathematical modeling.
The Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative will also unify a major precision medicine initiative on campus with personalized microbiome studies. As 21st century health care moves its focus toward precision medicine and self-tracking, microbiome samples that fundamentally link to health and disease will need to be tracked, databased and integrated with human genome data to develop diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic approaches for improving health.
Vanderbilt’s first clinical microbiome study is underway and brings together multidisciplinary, but complementary expertise in Microbiology, Virology, Chemistry, Genomics, Nutrition, Metabolism, Pathology, Computer Science and Education to test how diet and ethnicity shape interpersonal variation in the human microbiome and metabolome.
The Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative will also offset the costs for Vanderbilt investigators starting a new microbiome project and/or travelling to training events and workshops. Please see the Venture Fund page above for more information.