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Standards for Microbiome Measurements Workshop

This workshop will seek input on defining reference materials, reference data and reference methods for human microbiome community measurements. This workshop is sponsored by NIST and NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Human Microbiome Project.

Over the past 10 years, advances in 'omic technologies have resulted in a meteoric rise in our ability to understand the constituents and functions of complex microbial communities (microbiomes); and the profound effect that these microbiomes have on their hosts and the environment. However, the interlab comparability of measurements on microbiomes is generally poor. Biases exist along every step of the measurement process, from sample collection, extraction techniques, measurement technology employed (next-generation sequencing, mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance), and, finally, to data analysis and interpretation. There is a need for the adoption of reference materials, reference data, and reference protocols in order to identify and eliminate measurement bias.


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Agenda pdf

Break Out Sessions (Including Call In Numbers for Virtual Attendees)

This workshop will include talks from subject matter experts. In addition, a series of break-out sessions will focus on defining the characteristics of these reference materials. Poster presentations are welcome.

While the scope of this workshop will be applicable for anyone involved in microbiome-based research and development, there will be an emphasis placed on microbiome measurements for human clinical diagnostics, microbiome therapeutics, and the regulatory needs associated with microbiome therapeutics and diagnostics.


  • Welcome and Opening Remarks – The Organizers
  • The Power and Promise of the Microbiome for Human Health
  • Molecular Genomic Standards at NIST
  • Microbial Therapeutics and Diagnostics
  • Translating Basic Research to the Clinic: Regulatory Hurdles
  • Bioinformatic Challenges
  • Mycobiome and Virome Measurements
  • Microbiome Standards: Addressing Reproducibility and Measurement Assurance
  • Break-Out Discussion Sessions
  • Poster Session

  • Jo Handelsman - Office of Science and Technology Policy

  • Rob Knight – University of California, San Diego

  • Joel Dore - INRA

  • Dirk Gevers - Janssen Human Microbiome Institute

  • Matt Henn – SERES Therapeutics

  • Scott Stibitz - U.S. Food and Drug Administration

  • Scott Jackson – NIST

  • Rashmi Sinha – National Cancer Institute

  • Curtis Huttenhower - Harvard University

  • Emma Allen-Vercoe – University of Guelph

  • Russell Carmical – Baylor College of Medicine

  • Nikos Kyrpides – Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute

  • Mahmoud Ghannoum - Case Western Reserve University

  • Denise O'Sullivan – UK LGC

Related Video

Created March 19, 2018, Updated May 15, 2019