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NIH to host workshop on advances, future needs in human microbiome research

Media Advisory

Microbes inhabit just about every part of the human body, outnumbering human cells by ten to one. The ten-year, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund Human Microbiome Project was established to understand how microbial communities impact human development, physiology, immunity, brain development and behavior, and to create research resources for this emerging field.

On August 16-18, 2017, NIH will host a workshop, "The Human Microbiome: Emerging Themes at the Horizon of the 21st Century," to share the latest research on the human microbiome, including how the microbiome may be manipulated to maintain or improve our health, and to evaluate what is needed to advance this field over the next decade.

Keynote speakers include Howard Ochman, Ph.D., professor, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin; Jeffrey Gordon, M.D., Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; and Eric Alm, Ph.D., professor of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The three-day workshop will close with a joint agency panel, which includes representatives from U.S. federal agencies participating in human microbiome research activities. Members of the press are invited to attend. Please note that due to the high volume of registrants, press who would like to view the workshop may do so via live webcast.

Workshop website with agenda: https://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp/meetings/emerging

Learn more about the Human Microbiome Project: https://commonfund.nih.gov/hmp


National Institutes of Health
Natcher Conference Center
Building 45, Ruth L. Kirschstein Auditorium
45 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892

Watch the event live:

August 16, 2017; 9:00 a.m-5:30 p.m. Eastern: https://videocast.nih.gov/live.asp?live=24940

August 17, 2017; 8:15 a.m-5:30 p.m. Eastern: https://videocast.nih.gov/live.asp?live=24944

August 18, 2017; 8:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Eastern: https://videocast.nih.gov/live.asp?live=24948


The event is sponsored by the Trans-NIH Microbiome Working Group


Members of the press interested in attending should contact Sheena Faherty, Ph.D., at 301-480-5289, or sheena.faherty@nih.gov, for more information and to discuss interview, filming and photography opportunities.


NHGRI is one of the 27 institutes and centers at the NIH, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. The NHGRI Division of Intramural Research develops and implements technology to understand, diagnose and treat genomic and genetic diseases. Additional information about NHGRI can be found at genome.gov.

National Institutes of Health Common Fund: The NIH Common Fund encourages collaboration and supports a series of exceptionally high impact, trans-NIH programs. These programs are supported by the Common Fund, and managed by the NIH Office of the Director in partnership with the various NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices.

National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 institutes and centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov/.

Last updated: August 14, 2017