Advances in 'omic technologies have resulted in a meteoric rise in our ability to measure the constituents and function of complex microbial communities (microbiomes); and the profound effect that these microbiomes have on their hosts and the environment. However, the interlaboratory comparability of measurements on microbiomes is generally poor. Biases exist at every step of the measurement process. To address these issues, NIST has partnered with institutions around the world to form an open consortium, the International Microbiome and Multi’Omics Standards Alliance (IMMSA). IMMSA was formed for the mutual benefit of the entire microbiome scientific community and will focus specifically on coordinating cross-cutting efforts that address microbiome measurement challenges.
This workshop will serve as a meeting point for IMMSA and the broader researcher community to present, discuss, and harmonize methods in the pursuit of comparable microbiome and multi-omics measurements. In recognition of the diverse measurement demands of the microbiome community, this workshop will bring together a variety of disciplines including microbiology, bioinformatics, genomics, metagenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, epidemiology, and biostatistics to address pressing standards needs such as:
Standard reference materials conducive to multi-omic measurements
Improved enumeration and viability assessment
IMMSA is working to develop standards for microbiome measurements that will enable federal, academic, and industry labs to reliably reproduce each other’s results and advance the overall field.
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